Msnowe's Blog

The Definition (and Necessity) of True Hate

Posted in Uncategorized by m.snowe on December 11, 2008
(M.Snowe doesn’t have a good handle on the nature of love–but she does know a thing or two about hate.)

The most common misconception when people form their definition of hate is this: it is the opposite of love, and the opposite of love can be defined as an anguished ire at a person, place, or thing. The opposite of love engenders ill-will and anger; it eats away at our good natures.

While all these things may very well be hate (as we commonly use the word), or at least hatred–this definition is not true hate, and certainly does not make up the opposite of love.

The opposite of love, or the concept of true hate, is smothered up and suffocated by one simple word: apathy. No matter what your definition of love, indifference would be its counter. Because no matter what, when you love, some emotions must be involved. When you truly hate, you are stoically separate–completely cut off, and often at peace with the notion that you have no reactions and no concern. True hate is like an inner death, an oblivion. True hate is a part of all of us. For instance, when those outside our circle of concern suffer, and we feel no worry and express no sense of alarm or wish to help–that is true hate; and the worst form at that. We all are truly haters in the larger scheme of this strangely plotted world, whether we admit it or not–it would be impossible to care about everything.

Reading As You Like It, it is clear Orlando despises his brother Oliver, and rightly so. But his hate is tested to the extreme: walk away into the forest, and his brother surely dies by the teeth of the lioness. Stay and fight the creature, and he lives. Some might say the opposite of love is to seek out and murder, the destruction of life. M.Snowe says it would be to stand by, unaffected, watching a murder–and feeling nothing at the destruction of a life. Had Orlando simply kept on walking, both siblings would have been damned, Orlando truly expressing the ultimate opposite of love. Orlando’s decision to save Oliver may not have been out of love, but out of something baser, and something that allows us to pity. It was a good thing.

While M.Snowe thinks true hate should be used sparingly and with good counsel (and never when a life is in jeopardy), she can’t help but think also that perhaps, in some cases, true hate is a gift to human nature that we should utilize. Disregard is a powerful weapon that is hard to establish and execute, but can be absolutely beneficial.

Apathy can, in some circumstances, be something to aspire to.

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