Month: December 2019

Weaponized word of the day: Hate.

Weaponized word of the day: Hate.

I’m happy to welcome guest blogger Jay Spear, with a timely reflection on the cancer that’s eating our humanity – hate.

This essay first appeared in the Somers Record – Fall of 2019.


By Jay Spear

Boy, do I hate that word! It’s not that it shouldn’t be used, as there is a time and place for every word in our language. It’s just that I feel that there are other words that can be used instead of this overused expletive.

Most of the time, it is too strong for the manner in which we intend to use it. You can vehemently disagree with someone without hating what they say. You aren’t required to like everyone you meet or every opinion set before you. You don’t even have to like what I say in this essay.

We have such a large vocabulary in the English language that I’m positive another word or group of words can be found to better express our feelings without the finale of, “I hate you!“

You can find some people irksome or grossly annoying without hating them.

Hatred, like most emotions, can be acquired in different ways. Some of the most difficult to deflect are those passed down from previous generations. Bigotry is mostly born of heat

I’m reminded of the words from a song from the classic Broadway show, South Pacific. It goes, “You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late. Before you are six or seven or eight, to hate all the people your relatives hate…people whose skin is a different shade…people whose eyes or oddly made… You’ve got to be careful he taught.”

 I don’t say this to debase anyone’s ancestors; they lived in a different time and place, but some parts of the past due need to be greatly improved upon and others not to be forgotten. To quote the essayist and philosopher George Santayana, “Those Who don’t remember the past are condemned to repeat it.“

Just about all of us have either lived through or studied the worst moments in history. Apartheid, racial and religious bigotry, the holocaust, ethnic cleansing, and slavery. These are just several types of hatred developed and carried out at the hands of our fellow human beings.

If we conjure up all these heinous acts we also have the ability to obliterate them from our future, before there is no future.

Why not start with the most simple acts of kindness? Smile at someone, hold the door open for another. Say something pleasant to anyone you know. I’m sure we can come up with more ways to care about each other.

You will be surprised at how much it improves your overall health and joy of living, rather than distrust and that “H” word.

I hate to remind you, but that’s the truth.