A fellow reader of my “ I Love” blog a few weeks ago sent me the lyrics to George Strait’s classic, “I Hate Everything.” I was a bit put off at the reaction but this morning I reread the verses. More on that later. I consider myself extremely optimistic and upbeat but events of the last week or so are testing my mettle.
A sicko killed two men on a train because he did not like a young girl’s hijab and didn’t care for the two unsung heroes coming to her aid. We had people blowing themselves up in the UK and Afghanistan because they didn’t like ISIS being subject to derision and cruelty. Sadly poetic in that justice. Washington. The Donald. Need I say more. Liberals hate conservative and vice versa. Ditto, the rich and the poor. Is it really hate?
I started thinking about this while I covered my four miles. I forgot my headphones and had to cover the distance sans entertainment. I hate when I do that. So I was left to ponder and define this thing we call hate. It is an intense or passionate dislike for someone or something. I can’t stand you. My blood boils when I see this or that. I am seething inside and ready to lash out. Really? All because I cut you off on the road or said something you didn’t like?
I started thinking about levels of vitriol. Almost akin to the Richter scale. So a minor thought or inconvenience might be a 1 or a 2. Don’t really notice it. Next is irritation at 3 or 4. Can’t let it go immediately but it will pass shortly. Noticeable but no damage. Next is anger or the proverbial pissed off. This has staying power and those around you feel the tremors. Let’s go with 5 or 6. Then we get to the big daddy. This ain’t going away. It becomes the focus of your life. Sanity has now left the room and we are subject to rage and continuous grinding of our mental plates. Any where from 7 to 10 and you might even cause a tsunami.
As I thought about my daily wanderings I realized that I probably use the word hate a fair amount. I hate it when I get stuck in traffic. Or you are approaching a light with some doofus in front you going at a snail’s pace until the light turns yellow and he floors it. I hate to wait for elevators and slow golfers. I hate Wolf Blitzer, Sean Hannity, Nancy Pelosi, and Mitch McConnell with equanimity. I hate arrogance and at the same time timidity. I hate commercials and stupid shows.
Going back to my measurement of irritation how many of these do I really hate? Probably very few get above a 3.0. Truth be told my use of the word is probably more out of habit than actuality. But I still employ it for a variety of situations. I repeat it constantly. and then does somehow the essence become part of me. Could I possibly hate more than I love at least in theory? Ugh!
People and things bug us. If you are tapping your finger or constantly clearing your throat while I am trying to write you are getting to me. If you are insensitive to the world around you and show no understanding of the havoc you are wreaking you have gotten my attention. So maybe we dislike our world being put upon as if it is our personal sacred turf. You disagree with me ergo I am bent out of shape. You are not up to my standards and expectations. In other words you better toe MY mark and not yours. Interesting.
Let’s bring in cognitive therapy. It teaches you how to react to things in a different way. Your way of looking at things is creating a roadblock to anything near happiness. If you are hating most things or at least a good portion of them then you are not a carefree camper. Your mental images and predispositions drag you down. All of a sudden your life sucks. Sounds crazy but it happens. We are creatures of habit. The old half empty, half full glass thing.
In a totally bizarre way we have absolute control of our world. Everyday occurrences or interactions with people should be viewed as inanimate objects. It is not the actual thing but how we react to them that matters. I can do so in a plus, minus or ambivalent way. But it is not set in stone. Change is so incredibly difficult at times but within our reach.If you like being a pain in the ass then go for it. But if it really doesn’t fit then do something about it.
“I Hate Everything” is a Country and Western ballad of a man drinking in a bar and bemoaning how bad things are. As he drops another twenty to pay for his drunken stupor, a picture of his kids falls out of his wallet. Probably the first time he has looked at it in a while. It’s the first step of many to get him back. Who knows if he makes it but there is that element of hope. Might be that way for all of us.
Ted The Great.
Ambivalence is a state where you are positively and negatively affected by someone or something. Sometimes described as love/hate or mixed emotions. The uncertainty is sometimes maddening.
When we love someone, we shut off the part of our brain that judges – a trait that, we hope, has led to more happiness than sorrow. When we hate someone, we leave the judgment part of our brain a’blazing.
The Montagues and Capulets, the Hatfields and Mccoys, Shiites and Sunnis, Jews and Palestinians are examples of family or religious feuds. The hatred is passed on from generation to generation and woe be tide the family member who does not carry it on.
To not hate one must understand and forgive. Realize what that person is going through and why they are the way they are. Change if you can but more importantly forgive or accept.