There is not a single positive thing that can be said about hatred. It is utterly useless, without any benefit to humanity what-so-ever. In fact, it does more harm than any other human emotion. It is the basis for racial prejudice; it causes conflict and wars and even leads to genocide. It has plagued mankind down through the centuries and is, unfortunately, still present with us today. Entire empires have been built on hate, and always at the expense of the innocent human beings at which the hatred is directed. It can cause death and destruction on a massive scale, and it can lead to the most savage abuses of human rights.

Hate demeans and degrades both the victim and the perpetrator. The world would immediately undergo a dramatic improvement if people finally learned how pointless, useless and destructive hate really is. Imagine the swelling tide of peace that would develop between races, cultures and nations if we gave up the very idea of hating each other. It doesn’t have to be just a dream, we only need to correct our thinking and that will change the way we see the world.

Why do we hate? It is not logical to do so. It makes no sense, it serves no purpose, and yet we cling to an unfounded need to judge others, usually on a basis that has no real connection with reality. We hate simply because someone seems different. All of the misery in the world that is produced by hatred is a direct result of that single fact. We perceive that someone is not like us so we hate them. The perception itself, of course, is completely wrong.

While it is true that language, appearance and customs vary from culture to culture those are not the defining characteristics that make us human. Rather, it is our common need for love, respect and dignity that binds us together. It is the hope and desire for our children to live in peace, to enjoy good health and to live a life filled with purpose and accomplishment. These are the attributes that are universal. These are the traits that all of humanity shares. If we could begin to focus on our similarities and our common bonds instead of focusing only on our imagined differences we could begin to stem the tide of hatred that now consumes so much of our world.

Obviously, life is challenging enough without human beings making it even more difficult by practicing hatred at every level. Having the mindset that hating is an appropriate point of view leads to people feeling that they have to act out on this type of negative thinking, which is how wars start based on ethnic differences. That is how intelligent human beings can slip into a rationale that allows them to commit genocide. Hate literally poisons the mind. It distorts a person’s thinking to the point where they feel compelled to commit acts against others that are inconceivable to those who are not filled with such malevolence. Because of its destructive force, hatred should never be tolerated. It has no place in our world.

Sadly, hate plays a critical role in the persistence of extreme poverty. A large percentage of the deaths caused by hunger and disease are people of color. They are human beings who look different than us; they speak languages that are foreign to us and they lives in places we can’t find on a map. In every way they seem a million miles away, but to hate them for these reasons makes no sense. They can’t help what color of skin they have, they had no choice into which culture and language they were brought up in and they had no say in what part of the world they happened to be born in. To hate someone for any reason is wrong, but to hate people for reasons they had no control over is contemptible. Yet hatred between races, cultures and classes continues to flourish.

Until humanity learns to control its appetite for hate, extreme poverty will not be eliminated. As long as we are filled with hatred towards those we don’t understand we cannot be filled with the compassion necessary to reach out to those who are suffering. We must turn away from hate and embrace our fellow human beings with love – no matter what their color, where they might live or what their economic status might be. Each day we must be on guard against those who hate out of ignorance. We must stand up to those who, for whatever twisted reasoning, feel the need to promote their concepts of exclusion, bigotry and malice. We must confront those who threaten and intimidate the vulnerable.  We must always remember that hate destroys and that love saves.







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