Several times a week, I sit with my younger son (he’s in second grade) and he reads to me. I would love for this to happen every day, but sometimes life doesn’t cooperate. That’s another post for another day! Anyway, as he read the chapter book, my son substituted “bleep” for a word.
I halted his reading and we went back and read the sentence. Sure enough, there was a four –letter word that he’s been trained since preschool not to ever utter- under any circumstances. Right there in black and white, “hate” glared out from the page. Shocking, isn’t it?
Okay, I’m being facetious here, but this did trigger some thoughts.
It’s admirable that language is being monitored (censored?) in an effort to reduce negative speech, but I wonder if it really hurts any less to have one kid tell another, “I dislike you more than liver and onions” rather than the old-school, “I hate you.”
I follow the belief that if I don’t have anything nice to say, shut my trap. If something about someone bothers me so much that I’m tempted to fire a verbal missile, avoid that person. If I’m about to say/write something that knocks another person down, do the world a favor and don’t. Simple, right?
I don’t think banning the word “hate” from our vocabulary does anything for removing it from our hearts. Here’s another thing- hate is kind of like bacteria: there’s good and bad varieties. If we eradicate the good, productive hate then everything goes wonky.
Hate is a passionate dislike of something. Bad hate is directed at others with the intent to harm. It hurts feelings, brings tears and burdens another’s heart. Bad hate is a tangled knot in the threads that bind us together. Bad hate is toxic.
But hate has its place.
Let me tell you some of the things I hate. I hate bullying and any behavior that implies one person is better than another. I hate the fact there are children without loving homes. I hate that not everyone has enough food to eat, while my hunger is not out of necessity or circumstances. I hate when differences of opinion turn to personal attacks. I hate when animals are abused, I hate discrimination for any reason, I hate that we so often turn our backs claiming, “There’s nothing I can do…”
I could go on, but I won’t.
I believe passionately disliking something is the first step in passionately and consciously deciding not to ignore it. In this way, hate can foster caring.
If you disagree with me, that’s okay. I don’t hate you for that 😛
What do you hate? I’d love for you to share your thoughts.