Hate doesn’t appear to be precarious, yet it needs no certain foundation. Hate floats and flickers in no certain space; somewhere between an experience and a choice. Hate in its highest degree is a huge choice, with permanent consequences. To consider an alternative to hate is sapping and severe, but I wonder if the emotional drain has a purpose. I often wonder if there is a place for hate, a good reason to hate or an experience where hate would be immanent.
I hate pot roast.
I hate to bother people.
I hate feeling hurt.
I hate broken cell phone screens.
I hate knowing I hurt someone.
I hate math.
Or do I? Is it hate? A degree of hate? A context of hate? In some instances am I utilizing hate in a way I can stand for?
I really hate pot roast, it literally disgusts me and it’s offended me all of my life, or all of it I can remember.
I may just use the word hate to describe how intolerant and nauseated I am of the smell, image and flavor of a soaking pot roast. However, I don’t think about pot roast very often and my hate of it really has only called out two actions, and that’s avoidance and communicating to my mother that I need to know when it is being prepared so I can find somewhere else to be. She’s kindly (although flabbergasted) always followed my pot roast boundaries.
But at a surface level pot roast isn’t hurting anyone- however I do recognize there is an animal cruelty aspect, but do you understand what I mean by that? Pot Roast isn’t hurting anyone (but me)?
In some ways I could argue that this hate I have for pot roast is imminent and serves a pretty good purpose- keeping me AWAY from pot roast.
What about hate for people, ideologies, races etcetera?
In an intellectual comparison to my hate of pot roast, I recognize I wasn’t born hating pot roast. Or perhaps I was? I suppose I could have a genetic DNA structure that is pre-wired to disdain the smell and image of pot roast….. Perhaps it is linked to my dental structure? I was born missing molars. It’s always been a dental anomaly. My son was also born without the said molars. Perhaps all of these things are linked in some cosmic reasoning that I can’t quite compute, but can certainly intellectualize until my hair falls out.
Are we born hating people? Smells? Foods? Places?
A little bit I’d suppose… babies are often abhorrent to deep, masculine voices. Again a biological trait. We could intellectualize an infant’s ability to hate, but would it really matter?
What we know for certain is we are born with fear.
We can intellectualize our fear, or we can meet it with humility.
Intellectualism has its place, certainly. But to be frank it’s quite circular… often self-absorbed and quite competitive and combative. Have you read any of the Facebook comments intellectualizing Trump’s presidency, racism, vaccinations, nazis, abortion, circumcision, Joel Osteen, Parenting styles, animal rights…..
I mean I’ve certainly been in the thick of these dialogues myself, or are they dialogues? When I’m outraged by someone’s perspective and organize a perfect paragraph of points and patronizations….. Am I connecting with the person or am I talking to myself?
And what a funny word…. Patronize. To exude kindness and support toward someone you believe to be inferior. This is how I feel when I choose intellect over humility, patronizing.
I have three things that I believe have developed my personhood, none of which come from my 12 years in college. One is taking care of my grandmother at home until she died in her bed. Crushing pills, getting straws, cleaning colostomy bags, putting shakes in a feeding tube, singing songs, praying, crying, screaming, kissing on the forehead, and fear. The second is giving birth to my son and raising him. Pain, Love, intuition, sleep deprivation, laughter, screaming, crying, reading, smiling, fear and joy. Last is being a preschool teacher. One of the questions a preschool teacher has to think about is how they see the child. Is the child a blank slate, to be filled with knowledge? Am I of superior knowledge? What is my role with this child? My answer to that question is I am supporting the child in uncovering their knowledge. When a child says, “I don’t know how to do it!” I say, “you do know how to do it, you just have to practice doing it.” The child and I are equally intelligent in every circumstance. Am I more well-read than the child, most would argue yes. When I interact with a child my intellectualism is completely meaningless, it’s still mine, I can utilize it… but it does nothing for the connection I have with that child. The same for when I cared for my grandmother, and raising my son.
Intellectualism is for you, it is a tool you can use to explore your own mind, your own experiences and your own ideas. Sure, you can even intellectualize the experiences, ideas, and minds of others. But to connect with another person’s ideas, mind and experiences we must use another tool, the tool of humility. For me, it is important to remember that my intellect is not who I am, but a tool in exploring who I am. My intellect is short lived, and so is yours.
What if we refer to humility above intellect?