Are you creating monsters in your life and the world? Every time you feel hate or say you hate something or someone, you create a monster.
Is that what you want to do? I don’t think so.
Your Hate Creates Monsters
Recently, I heard New York Times bestselling author Brendon Burchard explain this simple concept: Hate creates monsters.
And that got me to thinking…
What do I say I hate? I say I hate Brussels sprouts. I say I hate people won’t let another driver merge into a lane in traffic. I say I hate small talk. And I say I hate my husband rushing me.
Big monsters, one and all. Every time I say “I hate…,” I make whatever I refer to into something horrible—even a vegetable. Each time I repeat the phrase, whatever I hate become bigger, bigger, and bigger until it’s a huge, ugly, scary monster.
I don’t want to do that And neither do you.
Hate Comes Easily
Sometimes we don’t mean that we feel hate when we use that word. We may dislike something or someone. We may not approve or agree with something or someone. But we don’t hate.
Today, it’s become acceptable to use that word…often. Listen to just about anyone. You’ll hear them (or yourself) say, “I hate that!” or “I hate it when that happens!” “I hate him!” or “Don’t you just hate that?”
Hate seems to come easily to most people.
Be Careful What You Say
To rid ourselves and the world of monsters—and hate—we need to watch what we say.
Maybe you have a difficult work situation. Listen to yourself. Do you say, “I hate my boss”? You probably don’t feel hate; you feel dislike. Yet, at that moment when you use that word your boss transforms from a person who you don’t get along with, criticizes your work, sexually harasses you, or complains that you’re late into a monster.
It’s easier to talk about hate when you aren’t referring to somebody close to you. In our current political climate, a lot of people hate the president, Congress, or Senate. You’ll hear people say they hate those who abuse children or women or the person who shoots a gun at a bunch of innocent people. It’s easy to hate those we perceive as doing wrong in the world. It’s easy to hate injustice and those who create it.
Put on Someone Else’s Shoes
Put yourself in someone else’s shoes…even the most difficult shoes to wear. Can you see the world through their eyes?
You don’t have to condone behavior you don’t like or that goes against your values or beliefs. You don’t have to say you love terrorists or pedophiles, but you do need to put yourself in their shoes…at least long enough to try and understand them and their behavior.
Sometimes, a person’s behavior comes from a mental, emotional, physical condition that requires compassion. Maybe it comes from their belief system or how they were raised. Maybe it stems from an experience they had or are having.
If you can put yourself in the shoes of a terrorist, a gunman, a boss, an abusive husband and try to see through their eyes, you can move away from hate…and maybe feel compassion. At the least, you’ll gain a bit of understanding that moves you away from hate.
When you ask what those you hate might have been feeling, why they felt that emotion, or what were they were thinking, you don’t make their actions right. You do, however, begin to understand why they did what they did, why they behave in that manner.
Discover Human Beings
In that moment of understanding, you reduce the monster to a human being. And you stop hating.
I recall in college hating one of my roommates—someone who had been my best friend. I thought she had stolen from me the guy I loved. Each time she was in the room, I would think, “I hate her.” She became a monster.
In retrospect, I realized the guy did not love me. I couldn’t make him love me. And I couldn’t make her not love him. I could appreciate that they loved each other, and they did not mean to hurt me. They struggled, too…to know how to be around me.
All human beings struggle. We’ve been conditioned by society. We’ve had bad things to happen to us. We feel hurt, unheard, or misunderstood. We may act in unacceptable—even horrible— ways. None of this makes our behavior right or acceptable.
And people hate us. We become their monsters.
You are a Monster
Think about your own life. When have you acted out of past hurts or beliefs—and later realized what you did was wrong? When have you been someone else’s monster?
I can think of several situations in my own life. Let’s go back to the roommate with “my guy.” My refusal to speak to her, the dismissal of our friendship—these were unacceptable behaviors and actions. But I felt hurt, rejected, and abandoned. I felt unloved. And so I acted out.
Also, I’m not proud of some of my actions as a stepparent. I’m sure my stepchildren bear the scars of how I parented and interacted with them. They could have hated me…and maybe they did. I’m sure in some situations I became the step-monster. Hopefully, they realize (at least now) that my upbringing, inadequacies, and insecurities caused me to act as I did. And as they gain (or gained) understanding about why I behaved as I did, I become less monster like to them. I become their stepmom—or a person who struggled, just as they did, in that situation.
Transform Monsters into People
Reduce monsters to people. In this way, you eliminate hate.
It’s common to hate those who are different—even though we may not have another reason to dislike them. But when we see them as people, the hate dissipates.
I remember, there a documentary called Promises that focused on seven Arab and Israeli children. These kids had never talked to someone from the other religion. They lived near to each other but had no personal knowledge or interaction. What they believed and felt came from what they had been told or taught. And they disliked—even hated—each other…until they got to know each other.
As they interacted and spoke, they realize they were the same. The children saw each other as human beings—ones that shared many of the same likes, dislikes, hobbies, etc. They stopped hating. Their monsters became friends.
Stop Using the World “Hate”
We have to stop using the word “hate.” We need to stop creating monsters.
You don’t have to like everyone or everything. But you don’t need to take your feelings to the extreme and hate.
This week…and every week afterward…watch what you say. If you catch yourself saying, “I hate…,” change your language to “I dislike…” You can even try, “I prefer…” or “I don’t understand…” As you do, you’ll develop compassion and understanding, eliminate the negative and disruptive energy you put out into the world—and hopefully create more happiness and peace in your life and the world.
You’ll definitely create fewer monsters.
Have you been creating monsters?
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