Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"Hating Habits"

I rarely use the word “hate” in this blog. However, I did in a post a few days ago. I hoped you would “get” that I wasn’t serious. The truth is, I actually feel an “old guy” flutter for that person that I said I hated. I was merely being playful.

Unfortunately, it’s very difficult for a writer to communicate a “wink.”

Since the subject of hate has come up, I will express my personal position on the issue. I happen to have strong feelings on the subject, which I have boiled down to one rule concerning hate from which I rarely deviate:

On the whole, I choose to hate people one at a time.

I don’t hate entire categories of humanity. I have no view – either positive or negative – on races, or genders, or bald people, or people with noses so small I don’t know how they can breathe through those things. The major people groups are simply too big. One of them – women – represents half the human population. How can anyone hate every one of those people?

It’s impossible for me to hate a crowd.

(Unless it’s a crowd I’m stuck in the middle of, and they’re not moving, and I’m feeling claustrophobic, and I’m starting to sweat.)

Nazis are the exception. I hate all Nazis. Say no more. Moving on.

I feel sorry for people who hate entire categories of humanity. Reality will never leave their prejudices alone.

An anti-Semite comes up to a bummed out anti-Semite and says, “What’s the matter?” And the bummed out anti-Semite says, “I met a Jew I liked.”

No matter how proud you are of the group you’re affiliated with, no matter how protective you are of their interests, you have to admit, if you’re honest, that even your group, a group, the mere mention of which makes your eyes tear up and your heart pound like a drum, is not entirely free of idiots.

Realistically, you can’t unilaterally love any large category of humanity any more than you can hate one. Doing so makes a mockery of the concept, “It takes all kinds.”

In any group you can imagine, there is a percentage of wonderful people, the majority of not so bad people in the middle, and then there are the people in your group who, if there were no guilt or punishment involved, you would run over with your car.

You’ll find good and bad in every group. With no exceptions. I’m sure there are some Buddhist monks the other monks aren’t entirely crazy about.

“He doesn’t beg right.”

No group is entirely wonderful. No group is entirely the worst. There are too many individual differences for either position to make sense. Hate people one at a time. That makes sense.

There are people I hate, or have hated during some portion of my life, and I have my reasons. I won’t tell you what they are, because you’re nice people, and you’ll try and talk me out of it, and I don’t want that, and if you persist in your efforts, I’m going to start hating you, and I don’t want that either. So I’ll keep my venom to myself.

I will simply reiterate that my longstanding habit concerning hate is not global.

It’s personal.

I don’t hate categories.

I hate individuals.

This, as far as I’m concerned, is the appropriate way to hate.


angel said...

Earl, that is one of the most profound posts I have ever heard from you. Thank you.

JED said...

You said, "Unfortunately, it’s very difficult for a writer to communicate a “wink.”"

Yes it is, normally, but on the Internet and in blogs, with their more informal rules, you can always use an emoticon. The one I see used for wink is ;-)

Max Clarke said...

Hatred is a poison we must first drink ourselves.

I forget who said it, so I'm probably paraphrasing. Nothing came up on Google quickly.

growingupartists said...

I agree with you Earl. In fact, I stopped hating Shepard Smith for a brief moment when he complimented "an authority" on his no B.S. approach.

Hadn't realized ANYONE on Fox News could respect a no B.S. approach. I'm going to try not to hate Shepard Smith today as a public service to myself.

PALGOLAK said...

I am surprised you are using the word 'hate' so much.

After so long in the 'flower of the lotus', so to speak, with grandchildren at your side, why not a little joy, for once?