I was recently have a conversation with a few of my friends, which prompted me to think it would make for an interesting discussion. We were playing a game of ‘Would You Rather…’ and ended up having an hour-long discussion about one of the topics. The topic was ‘Would you rather eliminate hunger or eliminate hate?’. Our little group of four was divided 50-50 in what they would eliminate, I was on the eliminating hunger team. I thought the discussion we had while arguing our cases was quite intriguing, and it made me think what the others would choose in this scenario.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines hate as, “intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury” and thereupon lies my argument as to why I would rather eliminate hunger rather than hate. I feel that hate is a rather important and necessary part of our lives and something that needs to exist for the betterment of oneself and our society. I know, it sounds contradictory…how can hate be something that helps us grow? Let me explain. Firstly, I’d just like to point out that in no shape or form do I support hatred towards a religion, a country, a race, a person. I’m not talking about racial hatred; I’m talking about hating the regular people in our lives, the ones that somehow manage to strike a nerve without even saying anything, the ones that are moronically loud. The way I see it, there are three main reasons to hate: a) to demonstrate moral awareness, b) to make life a bit more interesting and c) because people deserve it.
How is it possible to show moral awareness by hating someone, I hear you ask. Well it’s quite simple actually. You tend to hate someone for various reasons, maybe because they stole your significant other, maybe because they cheated on you…things that go against your morality. As humans we judge things on the basis of a scale, we usually have two extremes. For example, tall vs. short, weak vs. strong, low vs. high. Just like that we need a scale of sorts for morality, and that is where hate comes in. In my eyes, the opposite of hate is love, and so I think in order to have the existence of love, we must have hate! If hate didn’t exist, we won’t have love and do you really want to live in a world without love? Love entails hate, meaning that if you love someone…you hate the opposite of it. If you love your significant other, you would hate the person whoever or whatever would harm it or take it away from us. Thus proving that by eliminating hate, you would in fact somehow be eliminating love. Not only this, but this argument is made stronger by looking at Einstein’s words, “Everything is relative”. By this sense, even love is relative, as you have different degrees of love for different people. At the two ends of this continuum is love and at the other is hate. Without having hate, how would you be able to judge how much you love someone? Coming back to the basis of judging morality, you usually hate someone for a specific reason. For example, I might hate someone because they were busy chatting up another girl while already being in a relationship with another. Why do I hate this person for it? Because to me, chatting up another girl while being in a relationship can be akin to cheating on your girlfriend – and that to me is immoral, allowing me to show my moral awareness. Thus, hatred can be an important tool to show the level of morality. This is where the third point, about people deserving the hatred, comes in. Sometimes people are just worthy of our hatred because of the things they say and do, and that’s just the way it is.
We have no universally acceptable definition of good and evil, and we justify our own actions, while condemning the actions of others by what we find acceptable to be good and evil. This good and evil is determined by our hatred or love towards someone or something. If I hate the concept of polygamy then I will find the actions of a two-timer evil. If I love the concept of charity, then I would define someone charitable as a good person. Without having the concept of hate, we would not be able to define what is good and what is evil – thereby showing the importance of hatred.
I think what’s important to appreciate is that hatred is an important driving force in our life. It’s something that makes us want to better ourselves; it’s something that makes us want to take action. If I hate where my life is currently going I have two options. I can either accept that hatred, letting it rot me from the inside, or I could use it as a driving force and try to make my life that much better. If I hate the concept of being untruthful to my significant partner, I can use that as a driving force to be a better partner. Hate is probably one of the strongest driving forces we can hope to have, whether you chose to use it in a positive light or a negative light is up to you. You can let the hatred destroy you from the inside, or you can use it to rise up and make yourself better. I hope that more and more people learn to do the latter, myself included. But that is why hatred is something that can’t, and shouldn’t be eliminated. By eliminating hatred we run the risk of living a life where everyone loves each other and has no purpose and no drive! That to me, sounds a tad bit boring…and who wants to live a boring life?!
As much as hatred gets a negative press in the common world, it serves an important purpose. Hatred is one of those feelings that we all wish we didn’t have but we do. It’s one of those feelings that we don’t appreciate as much as we should, we neglect the importance of it. That’s why if I had the choice of eliminated hunger or hatred…I’d eliminate hunger! I’d be interested to know what others think, and what their views are on this topic. Do you think hatred is important? Would a world without hatred be worth living in for you? Please comment below with your views and let’s see what everyone thinks!
As always, before I sign off here’s some food for thought: “The lies we tell ourselves are the ghosts that haunt the empty house of midnight” (Shantaram, page 525). Stay classy!