My uncle told me this once:

You become the people you hate.

He's right sometimes, I'm sure. The things we tend to hate in people--the way they treat us, the way they don't tolerate us, the way they hate us themselves--all tend to become mutual when we begin to hate.

Only, there's more than that too. Sometimes the hate can come from recognizing bits of yourself in other people. Do we think they do better than us? Envy and hate. Do we think they do just as well as us, or worse, and still get noticed? Jealousy and hate.

To fight hate, we must allow others to be themselves and we must allow ourselves to be ourselves.

Hermann Hesse wrote in his book Steppenwolf that all hatred comes from self loathing. What we hate in others is in essence what we find detestable in ourselves and moreover, what we don't hate or love in others are the things that do not exist within ourselves because we cannot comprehend anything outside of ourselves.

If that is true, then we already are the people we hate and that makes us closer to them than to the people to whom we are indifferent.

A personal example: I met a girl who clashed more violently with me than anyone else I ever knew. While she was by no means a despicable person by moral standards, I met with her frequently and each time found infinitely more reasons to loathe her. Despite this, I remained in very close contact with her for several months until we moved apart, and even made appointments to meet her when we were in the same city. I felt closer to her because of my hatred for her than almost anyone else I knew. I learnt an immense amount from her and owe much of what I know about myself to my hatred of her person.

Hate wisely. And hate well.

Hate is love, only easier to recognize.

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