The Power of Hate

The most powerful word in the world

Hate is the root of much of the world’s suffering.

Most people when asked what the most powerful word in their language is would answer Love. The majority of people would be comfortable with that, but in fact the word Hate is far more powerful. Just by using the word can make us haters. To say “I hate the rain” or “I hate school”, is misplaced and not really an accurate reflection of the real problem, circumstance or feeling. Most people are annoyed by or just dislike rain, but to hate is another realm of reality. Do not become a hater just because it is an easy word to say, we must start to understand the true meaning and understand the ramifications of “hate”.

Hate is the root of much of the world’s suffering.
Let us start with a basic definition and then look at ramifications.

The definitions of hate or hatred are many:

Wikipedia: Hatred (or hate) is a deep and emotional extreme dislike, directed against a perceived evil. The objects of such hatred can vary widely. Though not necessarily, hatred is often associated with feelings of anger and disposition towards hostility against the objects of hatred. Hatred can drive oneself to extreme actions. Actions upon people or oneself after a lingering thought are not uncommon. Hatred can result in extreme behavior including violence, murder, and war.

Hate is the root of much of the world’s suffering.
“(Noun): Calculated and/or intentional intense dislike; an intensified and elevated level of anger; an unnatural emotion (i.e. hate is something that is derived from natural emotions such as anger or fear); learned dislike or loathing of another person, group, or thing.

Hate is a concept that is generally misunderstood. It is commonly believed to simply be an intense combination of anger and dislike; however, this is incorrect, because hate has little to do with actual dislike. Hate is born from a lack of understanding and fear, which leads to aversion to the subject of the hatred, but not dislike of the subject.

In order to dislike something, one must understand it, and so it is impossible to both hate and dislike something.”

Hate is the root of much of the world’s suffering.

Now, let us look at the way it can affect us.

Fear, loathing and anger are not the basis of hate, misunderstanding is. To be ignorant is not to be stupid, but in fact, it is the act of thinking or doing, without understanding of the situation. When we don’t know or understand something or someone, we act on preset emotions. These preset emotions are derived from our cultural and social biasness that we learn as we grow. The concept of hating what we don’t know has led to the destruction of life in many areas of the world. The idea of keeping an open mind through life’s challenges and experiences is what makes us thinkers with compassion and understanding.

Hate is the basis for misunderstanding and refusal to accept what is real around us. We make excuses to continue to hate and be fear mongers. So what do we hate? Apparently most everything is a target for hate. We hate the dog barking next door; we hate the fat person in front of us in line; we hate the guy who cuts in line; we hate the speeders on the road; we hate the weather; we hate those religious freaks; we hate those protesters; we hate the homosexuals; we hate cutting the lawn; I hate your dress; I hate my hair; I hate that other team; I hate my old car; we hate; we hate; we hate….

So, as we can see, we like to use hate for anything which we don’t agree with or that makes us uneasy, or dislike, or even things we are really ignorant about.

Hate is the root of much of the world’s suffering.
I used to be intolerant and against the gay community, why? Ignorance is the main reason. The way I grew up was in a world that was un-accepting and intolerant of things we didn’t understand. I teased the ones that were different from myself or my friends, or stood out. Again there was no basis for my actions other than that was the norm of the day. That did not make it right. Ignorance is not an excuse for mistreating or harming others. So after many years of telling myself that I was right and justified in my actions and beliefs I realized that I was wrong and had to make changes to my mindset. It did not happen over night or after one particular incident, but rather after many years of enlightenment. I resisted the idea of acceptance and change but was in a position in life where I was still open to learning and available to more education. The education in life is not always a class room setting, but life experience itself. I was fortunate enough to meet many people who were very patient and tolerant with me as I transformed my thinking to be more open and understanding.  My actions were causing much damage, damage that I was not even aware.

Hate is the root of much of the world’s suffering.
I am continuing to work on my limited openness and acceptance of things I don’t understand, and by keeping an open mind I continue to make strides. With the passing of Loren and the start of the LDLF, I have been trying to live more to the philosophy of the foundation which is to treat others with dignity, compassion and respect. I have noticed a change in my life for the better. I now make an effort to treat everyone I come in contact with in a better and more positive manner and because of that I have noticed a change in myself. I have grown. I am not so angry or bitter with things or people I don’t understand or agree with and it has given my life some balance.

Hate is the root of much of the world’s suffering.
In conclusion: our actions speak volumes and sometimes contradict our words and therefore we must become aware of ourselves and make no excuses for what we know is wrong. There is no place in our community, society or world for misplaced hatred and closed minded bigotry. We all have it in us to be better. We also have it in us to stand up against blind hatred and correct and educate those that need to be corrected. So stand up and be counted and accountable, we can change the world.

Bruce Leslie
October 23, 2012

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