‘Hate’ Doesn’t Have to Be A Bad Thing

May 25, 2018

One evening as I was doing a seminar, I asked people in the audience to list what comes to mind when they thought of the word hate. The response I got was a list of bad things:

  • You should not feel it.
  • I do it too easily.
  • I feel guilty for feeling it.
  • It comes from fear.
  • I feel uncomfortable with hate.
  • I am afraid to show it.

Such answers were pretty much what I expected, and they are probably typical of those most of us have when we think of hate. When we think of “hating well,” it seems like an oxymoron to most of us. We try to get over hatred because we have seen the destruction that it causes. We usually think of hate as a problem to be solved.

In reality, though, hate is one of the most important aspects of being human. It is one of the most crucial ingredients of a good person’s character. What we hate says a lot about who we are, what we value, what we care about. And how we hate says much about how we will succeed in love and life.

What We Hate Defines Us

First, let’s consider why we say that what we hate is important. Basically, we are defined in part by what we love and what we hate. What we love says what we will invest in, go for, move towards, give time and resources to, and orient ourselves toward with the best parts of who we are. You can tell a lot about people by what they love. You think differently, for example, about someone who “loves his family” as opposed to someone who “loves to win at all costs.” What they love gives you a window into his soul, and you know what to expect from them. 

Likewise, we can know a lot about a people by what they hate. A person who hates hard work, for example, causes you to wonder. Or one who hates weaknesses would likely cause you to keep up your guard. Hate gives us a window into people’s makeup in the same way that love does.

What would you think, for example, about a person who said that they hate the follow things: arrogance, lying, innocent people being hurt, harmful schemes, evil practices, telling lies about others, and things that stir up dissension among people?

If a person said that they hated those things, and their life demonstrated the truth of those claims, wouldn’t you be inclined to like that person? Even trust them? Wouldn’t it be easy to depend on such a person?

You could depend on people who hate the items on the above list because they would endeavor to be the opposite of all of those things in their dealings with you. They would stand up against those evils to protect you if others tried to inflict them on you. Such a person would make a good friend. We get comfort in knowing that someone hates the things we mentioned before because we realize that they are loving, and also that they will stand against those things when they threaten us. When we hear what someone hates, it tells us a lot about who he or she is.

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