The Reason We Hate

By Sara Shoukat. Sara lives in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Please read her article and leave your thoughts and comments down below.

If you throw a glass of water on to my face, it will trickle down my skin and burn in my veins which will prompt me to throw a glass of water on to your face. It’s just a simple mechanism. An eye for an eye.

If someone were to charge at me with a sword ready to attack, I wouldn’t respond by throwing my sword away and bracing for the attack, I would parry and aim my next blow to inflict more damage than my opponent intended.

Hate is one of the most easily conjured emotions. If someone wrongs us, what we feel foremost towards them is hate. And this type of hate is far more dangerous than hate for mediocre things like food or a person – it is called justified hate.

And what is justified hate?

Imagine you hate a certain yellow car; it’s not dangerous for you or for anyone else that you dislike the yellow car, no matter how much feelings of rage or displeasure it may illicit inside you.

But things take a complicated and rather difficult turn when you start demolishing that particular yellow car; when you begin smash its windows, beat down its hood, slash its tires, and pour every burning hatred from within on to it. Not everyone is like that, of course. But when you act this way, it just means that there is a moral flaw in your personality, or you are just mentally unwell. But whatever the reason is, you have started a cycle.

And that is justified hate. When the owner of that particular colored car that he presumably loves, find it in a mess, he will feel angry, and his anger is justified. He is very much expected to act in a way that will punish the offender; most probably through a lawsuit. But if he loved the car too much, he would find the person and destroy something that the offender loves – maybe his car, or his house, or even his family.

And that’s the cycle! Because the offender made the victim angry, that anger and thirst for revenge further watered the seed of hatred that had laid dormant inside the victim. The greater the damage, the greater the anger. The more anger there is, the more fuel there is for hatred.

Because hate is one of the most easily conjured emotions, it is also one of the most widely used as well. People are more prone to hating something, or someone, rather than opening their hearts up for forgiveness.

And the feeling of being wrong is something that eats a person from inside out until he avenges himself. It is easy to fight hate with hate. You burn my village, I will burn yours; you curse my mother, I will curse yours.

La Haine Attire Haine is not about an eye for an eye, but it is an eye for an entire face.

Nothing is more dangerous than justifiable hatred. It makes a person cruel because, in justifiable hate, people support you, and they expect you to act. Sometimes you act fairly but most times you cross the limit. Hate is a wild horse; by the time you control it, it has already taken you too far.

If people are peacefully protesting against the government but the government decides to use violent measures to control the protests, then that violence will give birth to extremist rebels who will not care about both the safety of the citizens or the actual reasons for the protest. All they would want is to watch the authorities who hurt them, their ideals, or their loved ones, suffer. They would burn the city to feel its warmth and it will no longer matter if it’s their own people who will get trampled on in the process.

And it doesn’t matter whether it’s Palestine, Hong Kong or Kashmir. A cycle has been started, and no one knows what it will take to stop it.

The concept to fight hate with hate is universal; it is innate, and it is to some degree, justifiable. One would call me an idiot if I dropped my sword and let my opponent impale me with his. We need the courage to sacrifice our lives to save many more. And it takes courage to understand why a person would decide to throw water on me, and why one should forgive him for doing it.

The cure to break the hate cycle is to forgive. But to forgive, we need courage and, unfortunately for us, it is not something we have in abundance.

And it is much easier to light a match, than to draw a bucket of water from the well. And so, we end up watching our world burn – in the past, the present, and most probably the future as well.

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