I hate this shirt.
I hate mayonnaise.
I hate when someone cuts me off in traffic.
I hate Mondays.
In reality, hate is not the adequate word to describe any of these circumstances. Hate is much greater, much more powerful, much more dangerous. Here is the definition via http://www.merriam-webster.com:
noun, often attributive \ˈhāt\
Definition of HATE
a : intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury b : extreme dislike or antipathy : LOATHING
This definition reminds me of the similarities between hate and fear. One usually drives or supports the other. I think immediately of the way some people have responded to Bin Laden's assassination. I'm alarmed to see many of my fellow Americans rejoicing, celebrating, and cheering over his death. Though I understand and agree that he was a horrible, evil man who needed to be held accountable for the innocent lives he ended, something deep inside my soul will not let me rejoice or celebrate the death of any living creature, period. I cannot celebrate death. Many of you may have seen this next quote circling around facebook and twitter the last few days as I have, but I think it's appropriate and meaningful, not just to this situation, but to the way we live our everyday lives. Martin Luther King, Jr said this about the subject of hate:
"I will mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that."
Like the words hate, love, and fear, darkness and light have also become highly desensitized. They've become a little too wishy-washy; their meaning has been stripped to the point of cliche and redundancy. But let's remember what they mean really. Let's remember the importance of light. Let's remember the importance of love. Not just for others, but for yourselves.
How many of us hate who we are?
Do you really hate yourself?
Your arms, your waist, your thighs?
Do you hate them enough to want to kill, to want to destroy?
I used to. Not now.
Next time you think you hate your body enough to punish it, remember what Dr. King said.
" Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that. "
Hate breeds hate.
Evil breeds evil.
Only love breeds love.
Only acceptance breeds acceptance.
Love the light inside of you.
It's there, even if it's just a spark.
It's there, even if you don't see it.
Don't let it burn out.
Let it grow.