Hate — The Word

The price of hating other human beings is loving oneself less. — Eldridge Cleaver

*hate —  feel intense or passionate dislike for (someone) : the boys hate each other | he was particularly hated by the extreme right.

• have a strong aversion to (something) : he hates flying | [with infinitive ] I’d hate to live there.

•[with infinitive ] used politely to express one’s regret or embarrassment at doing something : I hate to bother you.

Hate is such a finite word. It slams the door in your face. There are no degrees of hate. One does not say, “I only hate you a little bit.” With hate, it’s all or nothing. In Philosophy it is one of the absolutes. Another is love. An absolute is self-sufficient and unconditional. It is not influenced or affected by anything external.  In Theology the absolute would be God.

I flippantly used the word hate the other day. A colleague remarked that hate was a rather strong word for me to use and she was correct. Hate is a strong word for me to have used. It is a strong word for anyone to use. Understand me, I am only speaking of the word itself. I am not speaking of the thousands acts of hatred. I am not speaking of man’s inhumanity to man. I am speaking only of the word hate.

I do not hate anything nor anyone but that I would so flippantly use such a powerful word concerned me. This incident reminded me of the power of words and although I have come to terms with some words that were offensive to me, I do not choose to come to terms with this word. I choose to eliminate the word hate entirely from my vocabulary. As of this moment, the word will be written (only in quoted text) and spoken no more. My decision will have no affect on the word. I know eliminating my use of the word does not change the elements at play in the world. It’s just that I do not want to support the word in any way. I no longer want to bear the heavy burden of hate.

*The New Oxford American Dictionary, Second Edition, Erin McKean (editor), 2051 pages, May 2005, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-517077-6.