So I’ve been watching a lot of Scandal recently (great show, totally recommend it) and watching Fitz and Olivia, which I totally don’t approve of by the way, has had me thinking a lot about the nature of hatred and what it really means to hate someone.
Now, I believe that people are born unaligned. I don’t think anyone is totally good or totally bad when they’re born, they develop that sense on their own over time. Babies can be douchebags. They pull your hair and they’re selfish, but they also like for you to hold them and they’re sweet. Then, as they grow up they are taught the difference between what’s right and wrong and, depending on their personalities and their outlook on the world, they begin acting on those principles accordingly.
This leaves plenty of room for a wide range of different people, anywhere from saint to evil, and nobody is ever quite the same. People develop different tastes and preferences, different personalities and identities, and no person is ever exactly the same as someone else. There are two things, though, that are universal and connect everyone together, and those are compassion and empathy.
These two traits are shared by everyone in the world, although some may have more than others. Everyone has the instinct of looking at something and understanding or identifying with it. It doesn’t even have to be another person. It could be the sad, hungry-looking stray dog you pass by on the street or, if you’re like me, the one stuffed animal that’s sitting alone away from all the other ones. You feel bad for it, you want to help, or celebrate if the situation is different. This instinctual feeling of connection and understanding is what makes us human, in my opinion anyway.
I don’t think it’s possible to hate someone. Or, if it is, it’s crazy difficult. When you hate someone, you hate them. You make the conscious decision to hate everything about them. You can’t feel empathy or compassion for them, you have to give that up entirely. By doing that, you’re no longer looking at them with any semblance of respect. They are worth less to you than a stuffed animal, if the case above can apply to you. You can no longer feel bad when someone they love dies or if they’re experiencing heart-wrenching trauma, you can’t feel anything for them anymore except for hatred. By doing that, you give up the one thing about yourself that connects you to every other person on the planet. You have to give up what makes you human, your own humanity, just to hate someone.
I don’t think that’s possible. It shouldn’t be possible, and if it is I wouldn’t expect anyone to want to do it. I couldn’t. I couldn’t give up my humanity for someone else, especially if I didn’t like them. Could you?