Sunday, July 29, 2007

Hating Hatred

Always remember others may hate you, but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself.
--Richard M. Nixon
I don’t understand hatred in American society.
Oh, I get the concept: For whatever reason, a dislike is germinated out of an adverse experience; because of a fundamental difference in beliefs; or out of ignorance, we allow hatred to supplant a more clear-eyed assessment of things to which we take exception.

What I don’t get is how and why we allow hatred to replace rationale as a thinking people. Whether it’s left vs right, black vs white (or another combination of complimentary colors in the rainbow), we have allowed ourselves to be duped into thinking that hatred excuses poor manners and shallow thought about people who are different from us.

There is a place for hatred: we should hate that which makes us hateful. We hate people who would seek to destroy us because of their hatred of our country and our ways. But hatred for the sake of hating—just for the experience of the emotion—that’s a destructive path that does no one any good.

You hate a competitor?
Because he’s a better producer than you?
Because a competing company has gathered more market share than your company?

The point is to not waste your energy, your brain power, your mojo on stoking the fires of hatred. That’s inexcusable, when you could instead channel that intensity into figuring out how to do the job better, how to win back the customer.
How to win.

We sometimes allow ourselves to be deluded into labeling our unhappiness as hatred of a person, place or thing, when in fact we have the power to not only control the hateful emotion, but also to harness that power into turning destructive behavior into an engine of creativity and productivity.

I’ve got no time for hatred.
I think it’s petty, shallow behavior for the lazy.
I don’t believe in getting even.
I believe in getting ahead…and hatred--that just gets in my way.

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