Today I drove to and landed in the Fens...again. It takes more than an hour to get there from here (precise directions for you) and if you miss your target, another hour to find a place to turn round. Anyway, it's a lot of driving for a day job.
For ages the radio and music maker had not worked in my car but it has recently been fixed (by lovely chap) and it makes the driving so much more pleasant (today Must be Love by Madness at least 16 times).
I also tried a bit of Radio 4 because, I had forgotten what radio does to me.....
Firstly I cannot listen to more than two sentences before my thoughts go off into Extrapolate City. Periodically, I return and get another two word to two sentence hit and it's not long before I am in a state of severe over-stimulation.
I have no idea what the programme was about but the 'thought prompt' I received today was said in a Northern Irish accent:
I tell young people, 'choose who you like and know why you like them and choose who you hate and know why you hate them.' I tried to listen for clues to why this would be appropriate advice but it was too late...I was off....
HATE - now that's a strong word to apply to how you feel towards another human being. To feel hostility or animosity toward. To detest. To feel dislike or distaste for. And I wondered about hatred...and forgive me...this is my train of thought as it went....
I don't think mentally well people ever hate for no reason and I am guessing a person will hate another if they perceive they have or actually have been hurt, attacked or 'damaged' by someone. So my first question is:
Who started it?
My second: What causes hatred? Some thoughts....
• Prejudice and discrimination causes two-way hatred. This is usually an unfounded hatred or it wouldn’t be prejudice. The media can rouse this kind of fear induced hatred.
An aside: In fact the tabloid media in the UK appears to encourage ‘have nots’ to feel animosity towards other ‘have nots’. Is this an elaborate ploy to prevent social change via revolution? It appears to be working!
• Bullying and oppression causes hatred (as it takes people's rights away). The bullied and the oppressed hate the bullies and the oppressors. But you probably have to be pretty hateful to bully and oppress.
• Polarisation of viewpoints. ‘I am right.’ No I am right.’ If one viewpoint is an attack on an individual’s personal choices, perceived rights, lifestyle, religion etc it can probably muster up some hatred – although it will undoubtedly depend on how it’s worded (‘I believe’ is quite different from ‘you should’). And, of course it would depend on how what was said was received. One person might take a comment very personally whereas another might receive it as another’s observation that they don’t agree with (thinkers and feelers again!)
Another aside. I recently learnt about re-framing as a way to help with children’s anger management. E.g. someone snaps at you when you ask them a question. This makes the child think, ‘s/he hates me,’ so you teach them to re-frame to ‘s/he’s having a bad day.’ I guess the equivalent would be, ‘she thinks I am rubbish because I eat meat’ re-framed to ‘she is entitled to her viewpoint but I am entitled to disagree with it.’ (Logical thinker types wouldn’t need to re-frame - it's automatic for them!!!)
• Hatred perpetuated hatred. Full blown conflict where the underlying ‘cause’ might even have been forgotten. It’s one nastiness in retaliation for another fuelled by mounting hatred. A sorry state of affairs but us humans can get caught up like this big time!
• Projection, hate yourself, hate others. I’m not OK you’re not OK – might account for a lot of mild level contempt.
• You just don’t like someone because they: irritate you, you are jealous of them, they have different values from you, they behave in a way you don’t agree with. But not liking is surely quite different from hating. Not liking would mean you avoided that person (passive), hating them would mean you felt anger towards them(somewhat active). This one must be where tolerance and celebrating diversity comes in and we should all know better! I believe I have already posted considerable material on this kind of thing!!!!!
So is hatred ever healthy? It's certainly valid in some circumstances - as is anger. Sometimes it might instigate personal or social change for the better. But anger comes and goes? Does hatred come and go and if it does, is it actually a fleeting emotion? Perhaps sustained anger towards one person is the definition of hatred. It can't be denied that hatred is prevalent in the world. But is it necessary? Is it a self-perpetuating collective mental unwellness we have never recovered from started off by a simple misunderstanding in c. 3000 BC? Or is it just an innate part of human nature? Can people be 'taught' to manage it - like anger? Is it OK to hate? And then I arrived at my destination.
And that is why I rarely listen to the radio.