Thomas Wictor

Why I no longer hate

Why I no longer hate

It’s easy to hate. Look around at the arrogance, deceit, corruption, and criminality you see every single day. Listen to the cretins on the radio. Read Tweets from obscenely wealthy celebrities who take your money and in return wish death on you because you don’t share their opinions.

Growing up, I hated my father and the kids at school who tormented me without letup until I graduated from the twelfth grade. I hated my boss at Bass Player for destroying my career. And I hated politicians for lying, capitalists for thinking only of profits, socialists for taking others’ property and giving it to the undeserving, the religious for telling me I was damned unless I marched in lockstep with them, atheists for telling me I was stupid to think that there was “an invisible bearded man in the sky,” dogs for barking, cats for screaming when I tried to sleep, women for not being attracted to me, non-Americans for hating me just because I’m American—

Hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.

I ditched my hate before Dad died, so I was able to forgive him. About ten minutes ago, I was in Mom’s hospital room, watching her struggle to breathe. She’s lost fifty pounds and all her hair, and now she has pneumonia. She’s going in and out of consciousness. All we can do is wait.

My hate was unforgivably stupid. The only thing that matters in life is love. It solves everything. When you love, you don’t mistreat, cheat, lie, abuse, or turn every other person into a character in the fascinating movie starring you.

God bless my Meniere’s disease. Not anybody’s else’s. Just mine. It snuffed out the final vestiges of hate that had governed me since I was four years old. Now, I listen and watch, and I’m astonished at how people waste their precious time.

That used to be me, I think.

None of it matters. All that matters is love. You may not believe me right now, but it’s true. Without love, everything is ashes. Money, power, fame, hotness, a busy social life with equally hot babes and dudes, success, fans, followers, likes, views, hits—they won’t do a thing for you.

Love and clarity suffice for me. I don’t hate the liars, cheaters, thugs, hogs, bastards, corruptoids, jerks, lunatics, and criminals who prey on me directly or indirectly. Don’t get me wrong; I want them stopped. If I had a button to press that would dematerialize them, I would’ve broken my finger in half stabbing it. But I don’t hate those I want to dematerialize. The only reason I’d dematerialize them is to make them stop preying on me and others.

None of them can experience love. They’re all crippled with hate, like I was. There’s nothing I could do to punish them that would be worse than what they’ve done to themselves. Having been where they are, I know what I’m talking about.

Hating them is pointless and destructive, and it prevents me from improving. I can’t take that extra step and love them; I think “Love your enemies” isn’t a literal demand, because you can’t love utterly dysfunctional, evil people. That makes a mockery of love. I think it means recognize the humanity of your enemy. Love them in the abstract, the way you should feel love for all of us who share the pain and beauty of life here on earth.

I recognize the humanity of those I used to hate, which is one reason I no longer hate. This doesn’t excuse their choices; they have to express remorse before I’d even consider forgiveness. And even after I forgave them, I’d want them to go away. Forgiving someone doesn’t transform them into someone you want to hang out with. I can forgive people and still think they’re disgusting.

What’s happened is that I simply no longer let the bad fester inside me. The badness I see no longer brings me down to the level of the liar, the petty control freak, the narcissistic poseur, and the taker of advantage. I come close to loving them the way I loved my poor, sick, crazy cat Syd the Second at his worst. Though I cared for him, I wanted to wring his neck every time he bit and scratched me.

When the chips are down, and you’re lying in the hospital bed, unable to breathe, maybe hours away from death, you’ll need all the love you can give and get. We’re all on the same train. The bed awaits us. So I no longer hate those who think they can somehow avoid the consequences of the evil they do. They seem almost cute to me now.

Really? I think. Do your billions make up for the fact that you can’t feel love, and nobody loves you? Does your hate make you virtuous?

All hate does is erode and warp. I don’t hate anymore. If I can’t love, I at least feel genuine pity and concern. I know where the hater is. It’s no place anyone should be. Hate is beneath me now. When it’s my time to lie in the hospital bed and struggle for breath, I’ll get through it because I love.

To love is to exist in a state of grace. I highly recommend it.

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