Whom do you hate? And why do you hate them? How does it feel to hate someone? What does it cost you?
The Political DivideMuch has been said since the 2016 presidential election about the increasing rift between parties. The truth is that there are multiple fissures that have been developing and widening for generations. This isn't new! Even the rift between President Trump and the Republican leadership isn't really new; that one is just a new facet in the divide between "insiders" and "outsiders" within the party.
On the Democratic side of things there's a similar rift between elements in their party. This was visible during their 2016 primary when Senator Bernie Sanders won primaries in state after state but lost in the total delegate count when "super-delegates" chosen by each state's party leadership went mostly to their eventual nominee, Hillary Clinton. Since the election of 2018 another rift has appeared between younger Democrats, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the older ones, like Nancy Pelosi.
The Cost of HatingHating is an expensive hobby! It excites the hater with an adrenaline rush and the heady feeling of a righteous anger, but consider the costs:
- Time and Energy--While you're busy hating someone, perhaps plotting against them, or only daydreaming about your eventual revenge, or visualizing seeing them being carted off to jail, you're not working towards your other goals.
- Exhaustion--Living on adrenaline simply wears you out! Your body isn't capable of running on it 24/7... and your health will decay.
- Bitterness--Your monomaniacal focus on the object of your hatred affects your other relationships. You may soon neglect family and friends; you may even judge them as unworthy of your time and attention unless they share in your hatred. And the longer it takes to "make things right" in your eyes, the more they'll wonder why they even put up with you. A hate-filled heart has little or no room for love!
- Regret--As your other relationships fall apart, as you discover that you've failed to live up to your potential, you learn the truthfulness of the poet's observation:
“Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”
― John Greenleaf Whittier
Your LegacyHow will you be remembered by the people in your life? Do you want your tombstone to read, "A dedicated hater"? Will you have spent your time and energy on social media explaining why you hate someone? Or will you be known for acts of love and service to others?
If You're a Hater...
If you're into hating, please make the world a better place and give it up! Find ways to build people up, not tear them down. Take care of yourself and those around you.