Hate or Misguided Conviction?

About a decade ago a new coloquilism emerged: “Haters gonna hate”. These haters are pretty much the people who will bash someone else’s ideas and actions out of envy, spite and to ridicule. If you don’t have haters these days you have not arrived. For some folks it is a jovial way to address differences of opinion without bullying directly which can quickly escalate if not contained. A hater can be dismissed by calling them out. Easy peasy. What bothers me is that this hating can be the product of an uneducated guess, or a gut feeling. It is hard to argue with haters because to them it is not necessarily about the facts, it is about being and feeling they hold the correct perception of whatever is being discussed. You don’t have to have heard, experienced, watched, tasted or touched a product or concept to hate it. They are in essence empty words with no logic behind them, just feelings and uneducated opinions. Hating is somewhat permisible in this context with no consequences. Tsk. Tsk.

We are taught as children that certaim truths are indisputable and we carry that truth into adulthood. Some of these truths were used to control behavior and elicit certain responses from us that made it easier for the adults in the room to keep us safe and docile. Figures of authority, clergy men, government officials and even celebrities impart knowledge unto you that is tailored to create a belief based on conviction. Lets say you were taught that humble people shouldn’t be proud or brag about their material possessions and talents. 🤔 If you flaunt your achievements, material and otherwise, you are a bad person. This works well to protect a family’s worth and valuable items, and ward off envious neighbors or robbers. However, wanting your contributions or talents to be recognized and even being proud of the material stuff you worked hard to earn doesn’t automatically make you a sinner or evil. The misguided conviction of being more humble than apple pie will backfire quickly in the real world. You’d be surprised to learn that many of your biases have been shaped by these well intentioned but incomplete or incorrect ideas and interpretations about social norms.

This is why a lot of people accumulate resentment and anxiety: what they were taught does not work in practice. I see it every day. First people start hating on the person or groups that get ahead of them instead of learning to self promote or seeing the value of their hard work. They start hating on the race, gender, religion or particular characteristics that define those who achieve success. For example, they hate on LeBron James because of his position of privilege and their own desire to be emulated, doted on/endorsed or paid as much as him. They may have friends or favorite starts that they believe are better than him stat wise but because of the hype The King gets other players’ contributions go unnoticed. This is feeling of unfairness and disgust at the situation, this “hating”, can transcend into an act of justice, a form of rebellion or protest that can border on bullying and can lead to violence. The inability to make peace with reality drives us to hate even the things we love instead of soul searching to change our perspective; to avoid falling into the convinience of hating or disrespecting others. Hating is tempting because it absolves us from any wrong doing or from having to face consequences. It becomes part of our personal policies, subconsciously shaping our daily interactions and decisions. Making someone else responsible preserves the ego and keeps the mind at ease. Win-win, right? Wrong!

Until you start to criticality think and analyze the knowledge and customs passed on to you by your parents you will fall into the trap of perpetuating traditions and outdated bias: of hating. This socially acceptable hatred then spills on to more important areas like civil rights and equality movements in an attempt to ridicule and minimize the efforts. This is why people use terms like feminazi or beaner to marginalize others and take away some of the power and influence of their words and actions. Most people hate because they were taught to, not because they were born with a predisposition to dislike and discriminate against a group or idea. It is a shield used to hide from the truth, from having to educate yourself about a problem, theme or culture. To justify that being ignorant is in a way cool and acceptable. My feelings and opinions matter, right? Wrong again! They may matter to you but ignoring the facts do not invalidate them. Just ask Aldous Huxley.

Avoid falling in the trap of validating your own misguided convictions, of normalizing hating. Be open to discussion and to reconsider your interpretation of your own values and priorities. Until you start to question everything and reach your own conclusions you will not be able to prove your opinions and biases are yours and not someone else’s agenda items. We fear and hate what we don’t understand. Read a book. Talk to others. Trust but verify.

The truth is out there…

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