There are, and always will be, things we love and things we hate... about situations, opinions, people. We can even feel love and hate for a person, circumstance, or reality simultaneously.
I try so hard not to use the word hate, and constantly tell my kids to express this strong emotion using “I don’t like” instead of “I hate.” Yet truthfully, among adults, hate is more accurate a word to use when it comes to what we passionately oppose, that with which we vehemently disagree, or realities we have an impossible time accepting.
I can say I hate prejudice, intolerance, racism, sexism, ignorance, misogyny, chauvinism and injustice; and there are many people who would think I am justified in my hatred.
But there is a different brand of hate on the opposite side of mine; and if that hate is what fuels my hate, then more hatred is being generated than love.
Allowing ourselves to feel hate on such a deep level can bring us to a dark place, and will never pave the way to the light.
When I suffer disappointments and dashed hopes, when my precious (possibly idealistic) expectations are not fulfilled, and when I envision the way I think others will behave (or I want them to behave) and find instead they do the opposite, hate can manifest within me, despite my desire to feel empathy instead of anger.
If we allow hate to grow in our hearts - out of fear, pain, outrage or conditioning - it can eclipse the love for which we have an unlimited capacity.
Giving love without strings attached, expectations placed, or guarantee of when or if it will be returned, is scary. Loving unconditionally is risky; it can make us feel vulnerable, powerless, and taken for granted.
Love itself is the opposite. It is powerful. It can transform and transcend. And promoting what we love - equality, justice, respect, tolerance, acceptance, hope, positivity, perseverance, generosity and kindness - especially in the glaring face of hatred, can be the difference between fostering a life consumed by ugliness, and creating one that thrives on compassion.
Multiply that exponentially, and it’s not just a life... it is a nation, a world, a global consciousness, a future generation.