Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Why Do We Hate to Hate?

So, I don't know what got us started this morning, but we drifted into the whole "Hate is just passionate dislike" conversation.

Most children are brought up to not show extreme fondness for certain things. I remember as a child, we were taught that you shouldn't hate, or even say "Hate," but to say "Don't like," or "Dislike." And while hate could be categorized as "passionate dislike," what is it about the word hate that makes people shudder?

While there isn't much I actually hate, or even moderately dislike about my life, there are times when I am extremely unhappy about something. And I think to water it down by saying "dislike" is a problem.

Not all things, of course, are discouraged to be passionate about. Sports are almost always encouraged in families, whether through participation or fandom. And in sports, an extreme amount of emotion gets invested on both the part of the watcher and the player. And there is some type of movement right now, I believe, in the fines of showboating and such, to dissuade this passion that seems to take over, but even so, what is it about the passionate feelings of love and hate that scare us?

We all know hate is very closely related to love. They are not polar opposites. One can very easily change from one to the other overnight, in an instant even. But while love is celebrated in ads, commercials, movies, books, and such, hate is shunned as a general rule. Granted, if you are a member of the Nazi party or the KKK, hate is very encouraged. (In my opinion, misplaced and mistaken hatred, but encouraged by those in those groups nonetheless. It is very easy for persons to hate other types of people, but simple efforts to understand a differing culture or point of view very easily wipes away this type of hatred, usually replacing the hate with apathy and/or understanding and tolerance.)

Could the very presence of these types of groups in human history, even present day, bear the responsibility for our shunning of hate?

I know hate is often viewed in a negative context. Hell, hate very often is an ugly thing when misdirected and misplaced. But then, who am I to say where hate should be placed in the world view? Certainly if someone were to say, "I hate what is going on in Sudan and Darfur!" people would say, "Good for you!" and get persons talking about what they can do to alleviate or even eradicate this type of society that allows for such genocide to happen.

But if someone says, "I hate it when people don't signal before they turn!" (and I do hate that!), people tell me to calm down and take a chill pill. (Hehe! I said "chill pill." That's another phrase growing up we were told not to utter!) So why can I hate genocide but not lazy-ass persons who don't signal?

Granted, in terms of how each relates to the world at large, genocide certainly pales in comparison. Until you factor in how many people have caused accidents or even death by not signaling, but even then, whole-scale death and one-death-at-a-time-but-still-not-always-killing-someone isn't quite the same thing.

I really am not sure if I have a point here. But I feel that hate, in and of itself, should be acknowledged. Feelings are valid, emotions have a reason for being. Poo-pooing hate simply because we don't like it's ugly side won't solve anything. But acting responsibly can take many things we hate and turn them into productive things we could end up loving.


terriamachine said...

Does Kelly know you said poo-poo?

Jason Hughes said...

She said she didn't even realized I used it...


Kelly said...

No, I didn't know. But now that I do...Knock it off! What's with you Hughes brothers anyhow? Are you trying to sound British or something? I mean, really, who uses poo-pooh as a verb?!?! Grrrrrr.