In case you have just emerged from under a rock or inside a cryogenic freezing chamber, let me bring you up to speed: People hate each other. They do it with intensity, they do it with frequency and they do it with virtually no reasonable explanation as to why they do so. My bespectacled grandfather explains this best when he tells me he “hates people who wear glasses.” While he is clearly kidding and hoping to get a smile out of the person he’s talking to, he is actually proving an interesting point. Why not hate a whole group of people for one facet of who they are? In fact, why not hate everybody? I mean, sure, not everybody wears glasses, but some people wear contacts, and those are kind of like glasses, and some people are related to people who wear glasses, and some people talk to people who wear glasses. The time has come to rise up against the glasses wearing menace and its sympathizers and hate everybody…or not.
Of course that was a stupid example, but it got you reading. Now, consider for a moment a more realistic hypothetical. Say, for example, you hate brunettes (and I am a brunette, so I can say this). You met one nasty brunette one time, and she made you realize that all brunettes are trouble. Now, you can’t stand the sight of brunettes and refuse to interact with them. In fact, they are so terrible that you refuse to associate yourself with anybody who associates with brunettes. Bam. You now officially hate every person on the planet. Yes, I know there are a few more steps in between, but you get the idea. Hating a group for the sake of an individual is not only ridiculous and unnecessary, it is also very hard to do.
First, and most importantly, not every brunette you ever encounter will be nasty (by now, I hope you realize “brunette” is interchangeable with any and every demographic you can think of). Some of them will be terrible people. But then again, some blondes will be terrible people. So will some redheads, some people with black hair and some people whose hair comes in a color not found in nature will most definitely be nasty. Therefore, if you are making your judgments on a group based on one person, you must apply these rules across the spectrum and hate everybody, just to be safe. I mean, maybe somebody can’t clearly be identified as one specific hair color or another. Strawberry blondes, dirty blondes and people with highlights all throw us off. How can we be sure that we should hate somebody if we don’t even know for a fact that they fall into the demographic we are so dead set on hating? See? Hating everybody is clearly the best option.
Okay, I’m feeling a bit braver now. Let’s try a real example. How about Catholics (and I am Catholic, so trust me when I say I don’t hate us) as the targets of hate? I mean, all Catholics are closed-minded bigots who throw Scripture at people, things and ideas that we don’t like or understand. We break our own rules at our convenience, but we will not stand for people breaking the rules we like. That’s just how we are, right?
Now believe me when I say I know some truly awful people who are Catholics (well, really who say they are Catholics. A true Catholic living by Catholic values wouldn’t be an awful person, but I’ll save that for another day). Despite that though, not all Catholics are awful. We just can’t be. Not all of us think everybody who doesn’t come to our mass on Sunday is going to hell. Not all of us hate the idea of homosexuality. Not all of us want to force our opinions on you by any means necessary. We just don’t work that way. If you’ve never been to a Catholic mass, you may not know that the good ones talk about love and wonder and peace. They consider that there always were and always will be “bad” people in the world, but we do not hate even them. We love until it hurts and give until there is nothing left. At least, that is what we are supposed to do. Some people though, usually the loudest and most unintelligent, front our religion as a tool for hate and purification.
That is so wrong.
If they want to hate people for what they do or who they love, they are going to have to hate everybody, themselves included. So, what is a person to do? The obvious answer seems to be to just hate everybody equally, since we are all just a mess.
Or not. Maybe I just said the answer a few moments ago.
Love until it hurts.
If you can hate everybody for no reason, you sure as hell can love everybody for no reason. You don’t have to understand them. You don’t have to agree with them. You don’t even have to like them. But you sure can love them as fellow humans. And love takes a lot less effort and a lot less hypocrisy than hate. Choosing to love makes everybody happier and healthier.
“Love never fails.” That is a verse I will stand on the street corners and shout at passers by if necessary. And I’m not talking about marriage. Well, I am, but that isn’t all. I’m talking about a detective who works the night to solve a crime and bring a family closure. A family he has never met. I’m talking about a doctor working hours on end to try to save one little stranger who happened into his office. I’m talking about a soldier who knows that the women and children didn’t do anything wrong. That’s just the beginning of love. Love is pure and raw and natural, and sometimes it hurts. Despite that though, we as humans need to love.
So, there’s my two cents. My scrambled thoughts on the craziness of what people say about and do to each other. Now, it’s your turn to decide. And no, you can’t do both. None of us can. Will you choose to hate, or will you choose to love?