On Hate

Children can be so incredible and terrifying at the same time, with their utter lack of filters between their inquisitive minds and their mouths. They sometimes ask questions without concern for societal appropriateness that may follow with their parents apologizing to the recipient of the query. The child knows no better, as they’ve yet been groomed by what is deemed appropriate in their culture.

As those children get older, they are taught the rules of the road. Many learn the value of talking less and listening more. Usually listening is far safer than talking, and if speaking is necessary, they become more skilled at choosing appropriate words.

Still, many words and phrasings live on in our day to day conversations that we should consider ceasing. Perhaps over time we can work on the many; however, today I want you, the reader, to consider removing but one four letter word.

Hate

This 4-letter word has so much negative impact. However, it is still so freely used in times where people actually don’t feel so strongly. Thanks to the folks at Merriam-Webster, let’s look at the definitions of the word “hate”:

As should be clear, for the most part, there really aren’t levels of hatred; it goes to ten automatically. Perhaps the second definition of the verb form is where much of the toned down usage of “hate” falls. This usage is the one that I’d like to stop.

The English language is rich with synonyms for most every word, and “hate” is certainly not an exception. The majority of those synonyms are certainly far more accurate, and do not carry near the negative baggage as the word hate.

Removing Hatred

If you spend any time on social media, it should be clear why an effort to reduce use of the word hate might be warranted. Sadly, true hatred for our fellow man (or what we perceive of our fellow man, more accurately) is commonplace. Hatred due to race, gender (by birth or identity), sexual preference, religious belief, nationality, and other reasons far too numerous to list.

I still believe deeply that, over time, we will conquer much of these reasons for hatred. It won’t be easy, and may seem insurmountable now. However, an undertaking of this importance is needed if we are to better ourselves as a civilization.

Every great journey starts with a singular step in that direction. The journey toward ending hate might just start with no longer using the word, especially when not warranted. If we do this, then the times hate is used to describe something, it will carry the kick-to-the-gut feeling that it should.

Perhaps then we will react more strongly to rid our society of hate, as hate has no place in a healthy America…or anywhere else.