The dictionary defines ‘hate’ as ‘an extreme dislike of someone or something.’

Hatred, is often, associated with feelings of anger and resentment. But, I believe, it is remarkably distinct from either of these emotions. Hatred is negative. Anger can be channeled for something good. Hatred cannot.

Familiarity might breed contempt but what we are experiencing is a disproportionate growth in the phenomenon of hate. The social media platforms are channels for people to hate the ones they don’t even know. People take time out of their day specifically to hate their heart out!!

What is it about hate? Why do we hate?

The human race has existed for 200,000 years. Our species has survived due to a biological imperative of looking out for each other. At the macro level, we work towards improving the lives of our fellow human beings. You are contributing positively to the world whether you work for a large corporation, are an independent business owner, a doctor or a writer. Logically, there can be no discrepancy between the macro and the micro events. You should not be hating anyone at an individual level if you toil at your work to better the lives of others.

Hence, to me, it appears that people don’t hate the person or the idea that s/he represents. We just hate our own shortcomings, our own lack. The idea being upheld might be different from what we believe in. So what? There are 7.2 billion people on earth. There are hundreds of thousands of varied social, cultural and religious beliefs. It is impossible that everyone will agree upon one thing. Hatred is generated just by the fact that someone is standing up for something. For every single idea, there is a large army of oppressors. For me,this army represents the people who would not and could not stand up for their truth. So, someone standing out from the crowd is outrageous!!

Jack Schafer writes in Psychology Today, “Not all insecure people are haters, but all haters are insecure people.” He defines a seven stage hate model which begins with hate gathering. Peer validation of hate prevents introspection.

Most of the hatred would dissipate if we ask ourselves the simple question of ‘Why?’ If we truly introspect, we will find that the source of our strong, personal hatred is usually our lack. We might have a different opinion and would want others to understand our point of view. That can be achieved without expending effort on actively hating anyone.

I am a huge fan of Ayn Rand’s writings. I was shocked to analyze that though all her protagonists are fighting the world, none of them ever feel ‘hatred’ towards anyone!! In Fountainhead, when Howard Roark’s hater Toohey asks him, “So what do you think of me?” Howard simply says, “But, I don’t think of you.” This is a very powerful statement. The character of Howard focusses on himself. He stood up for his ideas without hating anyone else’s. This one sentence forces us to think that hate does not achieve anything.

The hope is that we, as the human race, identify the colossal waste of effort that hate is. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Hate is too great a burden to bear.”