Hatred: A Positive Force? – Micro Essay

by Neona Twirl

In our politically correct world, it is assumed that hatred is intrinsically wrong and that love is intrinsically right. From a young age, teachers repeat to us, “You musn’t say you hate a person. You only dislike the person.” We are, on the other hand, allowed to express emotions on the other extreme: we are allowed to love. For love, in the minds of our primary educators at least, is never destructive. Perhaps they never read Romeo and Juliet and never met a person whose love was unrequited. For, with those examples in mind, we learn that the true tragedy is loving or hating the wrong person or thing or loving or hating in the wrong manner.

It has been over a decade since I was indoctrinated with this love of love, this hatred of hate. In the meantime, I have developed what I believe is a more nuanced view of the matter. We hate far more often and far more deeply than we admit: we mask much of our hatred with the label of fear. Yet, fear is simply what we feel when we don’t know whether we are worthy enough to hate, whether our hatred stems from our superiority or (as we worry) from our inferiority to its object. Many choose to fear instead of to hate because they have been taught that acknowledging their hatred demonstrates that they are not intelligent enough to comprehend that which they detest. However, seeing only one side of an issue is not always a sign of ignorance. Sometimes, it is a sign that the other side is so misguided that to see its point is to compromise your integrity, to lose a part of yourself.

Hatred, I have found, is the only way to create positive change in the world. This hatred need not be, and is in fact almost never, hatred of a person but is rather a sort of vindictiveness, which allows you to grapple with the problems of the world and to stave off the fatalism which inflicts most older people, the fatalism that kills their idealism and turns them to conservatives. In order to have the drive to change the world, you must hate the world’s problem; as soon as they appear inevitable to you, you are loosing, which means that the problems will never get resolved. For the opposite of hatred is, in this case, not love but ambivalence; rage is hot, but ambivalence makes you go cold inside.

So, in the end, you musn’t say that you hate hatred. You need to focus all of your hatred on apathy, instead.

Neona Twirl is a student who loves writing and reading, both fiction and nonfiction. She’d like to pick a career that would allow her to help create a better future for the planet, in one way or another, but she hasn’t yet settled on anything more concrete than that.

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