The Power of Hate
I can’t scroll very far on social media feeds without seeing a reference to hate.
What is hate?
The word “hate” is a verb, noun, and adjective.
As a verb, it calls to action… “hate the enemy”.
As a noun, it takes on an identity of hostility.
As an adjective, it serves as motivation for the hate.
These are three common ways I see “hate” on a daily basis.
Why do we hate?
Hate is a basic response to a perceived injustice. Whether the injustice is to yourself, your family, or your community. Hate is manifested within each one of us as we feel threatened.
Hate works well with fear.
Since the beginning of time, hate and fear have traveled together, paving the way for aggression, war, and death.
Hate unites a group of people together that typically would not join forces.
Hate is sneaky.
It begins in some, as a rising up of the “right” message and over a period of time
becomes the fuel to motivate crowds to engage in hostile activities.
We all are able to identify hate in others but a deeper look inward is difficult,
if not impossible for some.
Because the hate inside of each of us is hidden behind words and/or feelings such as “passion”, “freedom” and “religion”, just to name a few.
Hate is also bred from those that feel threaten by a difference.
Different skin tones,
and different dress.
As I reflect on my own bias, I am reminded that:
I am a white woman, born of white parents.
My father’s ancestral family was from Germany, my mother’s ancestral family from The Netherlands.
Now, both American.
My father’s family was from the Ohio Valley region, my mother’s family from Tennessee.
They met in Miami, Florida.
Their lives were not without difficulty.
Growing up during the Great Depression, my father served in the Ohio National Guard and the United States Army beginning in WWII, then Korea and Vietnam.
My mother started working while in middle school to help pay for her room and board as her father died and her mother was in a mental institution. (This was a time before Child Protective Services.)
As an Army wife, she volunteered with Army Family Services and it was not uncommon for me to spend time as a kid playing at the office. Growing up in the Army and living on post, I had a variety of friends. My friends were…my friends, boys, and girls with the common interest of playing in the rocks, building forts and playing tag. I have little memory of their color of their skin. Looking back in old photos, I am reminded of the various skin tones..including my very white skin. I was chubby before chubby was fluffy. I never thought of myself as privileged, until I aged and saw the racism, division, and hate among those around me.
So now I see the power of hate among those folks that look like me and I question what I can do to make a difference?
I can acknowledge my own bias, my own hate and increase my own personal awareness of hate as it presents during my day.
What good has hate brought anyone?
It has done nothing for me, other than taking my energy and leaving me with bitterness in return.
I am removing those people from my life that thrive on hate.
I am replacing them with positive minded people and spending more time in personal reflection and boredom.
The power of hate….it comes from each one of us.