Hate: An Inevitable Emotion

By Udeme Akpan. Udeme is an essayist and a creative writer from Lagos, Nigeria. Please read his article and leave your thoughts and comments below.

The way crises and national conflicts loom in the air makes one ponder whether a goddess of destruction had been unleashed upon mankind. Millions of lives had been lost worldwide and it’s a miracle that I am still alive to tell the tale. People are running away from their homes of origin only to settle in a strange land as refugees all thanks to international conflicts and civil war which seems to have snatched away happiness and togetherness from the lives of many. Terrorism has now become a norm in some countries as a medium to oppose ruling governments and political powers. Nations attack other Nations for trivial reasons. Racism is the order of the day in multi-racial countries and in international sports and games. No one is safe!  No one is secure!

What are the causes of all these problems?

If only genuine love existed amongst people, most of the world’s problems and challenges would be a thing of the past or perhaps, would never even occur at all. Instead, the direct opposite reigns.  Instead, acts which express loathe, detest, dislike, despise and dark feelings such as intolerance, disgust, abhorrence, hostility thrive amongst men. Which word can best qualify all the above mentioned emotions?

Hate is the word!

One can only imagine how this four-letter word can cause so much trouble, confusion, destruction, pain and conflicts among people, entities or groups. We can never have a perfect world. We can never have a world where everything is normal. We can never have a world where only good exists. We can only fantasise or dream of such. The only thing we can do is to try as much as possible to reduce world disorder to the bare minimum. Hate is an action word that causes a reaction. No wonder Mathieu Kassovitz said that hate attracts hate.

Hate is a relatively stable feeling of intense dislike for another person, entity or group. Moreover, Merriam-Webster dictionary defines hate as an intense hostility and aversion usually derived from fear, anger or a sense of injury. These definitions of hate clearly show how intense a feeling it is and it shows that man needs to release some form of psychological and emotional energy deep from inside out in forms such as hate. Men don’t hate just because it’s fun or interesting (unless you are a witch or wizard). There are reasons why people develop hatred for others. Humans hate because of people’s actions, reactions, behaviour, attitude, character, physical appearance, race, country, ethnicity, tribe, culture, traditions, sexual preferences, religion and origin etc.

Logically, based on my observations, hatred can be classified into two major groups: Human-To-Human hatred and Human-To-Non-human hatred. These classes of hatred clearly describe the nature of the entities involved. Human-To-Human hatred is the kind of hatred that exists between human beings or people.  The Human-To-Non-human hatred exists between humans and animals or humans and non-living things. In this context, we shall be concentrating on Human-To-Human hatred. This is because, for hate to attract hate, it must occur between two organised, active and responsive entities (Human-To-Human). If not, there would be no reciprocation of hate. Funnily enough as it may sound, some intelligent domestic animals like dogs and cats can detect hate by humans (Human-To-Non-human hatred). These animals sometimes try to hate back, hence they tend to attack us. On the contrary, it is because of the care and kindness that we show our domestic pets that makes them live with us. If these domestic animals with their zero-to-low thinking faculties can detect hatred and retaliate, then think about how much more humans are able to do this. Thus if hate attracts hate, love can also attract love.

Hate is an emotion, just like happiness, sadness, excitement and sorrow etc. The nature of man comprises of a pool of emotions and it depends on the present circumstances in order for a single emotion to outshine all others at a particular time.  The nature of men varies and this is seen in our reaction when interacting with other people, displaying one form of emotion or another. This has a lot to do with our character. It also depends on our temperaments (e.g. sanguine, choleric, melancholic and phlegmatic). Since humans are imperfect beings, it is therefore impossible for man to possess absolute control over his or her emotions and feelings. Some people’s strength are others’ weaknesses. Therefore, hatred is an inevitable emotion that is found in man’s character and nature. It is a natural and inherent part of our dispositions.

The emotions of man are connected to their state of mind at a particular point in time. There exists a transition of emotion from one form into another. This is the point where I need to describe the sources of hate. We need to know how hatred is triggered. The three common sources of hate are fear, anger and a sense of injury. These sources provoke the dangerous emotion called hate. Fear is an unpleasant feeling triggered by the perception of danger: real or imagined. It is one of the most primal human emotions that has both a physiological and emotional response. Man’s utmost love for life makes us strive for safety. No one wants to die. Hatred from anyone poses a sign of danger and a message of doom is sent across automatically. Nonetheless, anger is an emotion characterised by antagonism towards someone or something you feel has done you wrong. The antagonist is this situation makes the other person a protagonist, and vice versa. A sense of injury is the feeling of being offended or resentful after a slight or indignity. However, danger, antagonism and offence are the key words from the three common sources of hate. They are enough to provoke a reaction from both ends.

The basic understanding of the classification and sources of hate puts one on the right track to analyse and state the reasons why hate attracts hate. Man is a sensitive creature and our minds are proactive towards external reactions.  If a man senses any form of hostility towards himself, then he or she will immediately feel threatened and insecure. Since no one wants to be the weaker contender, the only fight for defense is to hate back, knowingly or unknowingly. This is just as Newton’s third law of motion states that action and reaction are equal and opposite. But in terms of hate, the measure of hatred between parties involved can never be equal. Hence this inequality in hatred from one person may destroy or consume the other. The only situation whereby hate doesn’t attract hate is when the act of hatred is hidden and secretive. People can feign love and pretend to be on your side, whereas, the real feeling they have towards you is an intense dislike. Whichever direction it goes victims of hate would experience harm in one way or another (the harm can range from mild to severe).

What do you think will be the effect or impact when hate attracts hate? What will help portray a proper view of its consequences? The answer lies in the result of hate which is destruction and harm. The extent of harm caused by hate is dependent on the degree of hatred. This depends on how man choose to hate (methods of hate). Humans hate differently. Some hate personally or individually. The effect of this method of hate is minimal. Man can also choose to hate collectively. Collective or organised hate is a method of hate whereby people inform and show others a reasons to hate, so as to achieve a common goal. This is the most dangerous way to hate because it involves the cooperation of several number of persons. It is collective in nature and an alliance is formed in the process. Terrorist groups, violent sects and rebellious forces etc. are products of organised hate. You all know what all these groups do to our society.  They bring pain to man. They steal our smiles and happiness away.  The innocent are also victims of the effect of hate.

Finally, if you have been concentrating all along, you would by now realise that I have discussed and described some classes and methods of hatred. Hate is an inevitable emotion of man, whether you like it or not, you must hate! I am not going to advise you to love, rather I will charge you to hate the right way! The best kind of hate in which every man should disseminate is what I call ‘HOLY HATRED’.  This is the kind of hatred that exists against the evil actions of men. This kind of hate shows intense aversion for societal menace, vices, violence, criminality, corruption, war, terrorism, conflicts and all forms of negatives in our world. This is the best kind of hatred that has humanity’s interests at heart. Teach your children this kind of hatred. The world would be a better place if mankind can learn how to hate the right way.


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