Thursday, March 18, 2010

So what do you do when you truly 'hate' someone?

Hump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial section

So, I'm pretty sure I hate someone. No, not "strongly dislike." No, not "can't stand." I mean that I literally hate them. I hate them with every ounce of my being. It doesn't matter who it is. It doesn't matter why I hate them.

Yes, I fully recognize and confirm that this makes me look about as mature as a toddler crying over spilled milk.

I'm a grown man, for Pete's sake. Don't I have better things to do than waste my time hating someone? Besides, I'm a spiritual person. I believe in positive thinking. I believe that we're all interconnected. I'm not cynical. I believe most people are very well intended in things that they do.

But not this person. In my fantasy world, even Satan has a photo of this person tacked to his dartboard. You've heard of the "do not fly" list? Well, guards at the gates of Hell have only one name on their "do not admit to eternal damnation due to excessive evilness" list... this person's. Even Hitler would be standing on the other side of the gates wiping the sweat off his brow and sighing with relief upon their rejection.

All joking aside, however, I realize that this is entirely my problem.

This person is loved, I'm sure, by family and friends. I'm assuming they're respected by co-workers. I'm pretty sure that even they would hit their brakes if they ever saw a child crossing the street in front of their car. They can't be all bad. Despite that, I hate them anyway.

I believe that we reincarnate into different lifetimes. One soul may live many lives -- often with many of the same people. We reincarnate together to teach other lessons and to experience things. This is how we perfect our souls. (No, I haven't been drinking.) You can reincarnate as a man or a woman... it's up to you. You can reincarnate as a teaching soul (a teacher, a writer, someone who is disabled to teach others compassion or courage), or many other ways.

The interesting thing about this way of thinking is that I also believe some of the people you hate the most in your lifetime are actually close friends on the other side. When you both die, you have a good chuckle over some of the lessons you taught each other when you were "alive," so to speak. So, someone you detest can actually be a very close friend in spirit.

Since I started to read books on such beliefs years ago, it's given me a whole different perspective on people I don't like. When you think that -- on another level -- you're actually very close with that person, it changes your perspective a bit. Today I tend more to think of it along the lines of "What can I learn from my interactions with this person?"

Now, that doesn't mean I'm not going to spray paint graffiti on their angel wings when we meet eventually for that post-lifetime chat on the other side. I'm sure we'll have a good laugh remembering all the funny things we did and said to each other when we took each other so seriously when we were living, however I hope that I at least get a good slap in. Well, that won't work considering we'll both be spirits and my hand will go right through them, but no one said being dead meant having to be rational.

Spiritual beliefs aside, dealing with people you don't like or who give you a very hard time can be extremely difficult. I'm usually pretty good at faking it with people like this. I can smile and schmooze and you'd never know it. Well, now I'm paranoid because that would mean that people who don't like me do the same thing to me. I can handle that, though. It's better than being treated like garbage.

How do you handle being treated like dirt by someone who doesn't like you? Obviously, the chances are that you don't like them either, so there's a danger of escalating the tension by fighting fire with fire. I can tear someone apart verbally or in writing quite well, thank you very much, but I'm getting better at keeping my trap shut when it comes to people I really can't stand. I'm not always perfect, but most of the time I can manage to maintain a stoic and forced silence.

Maybe I should carry around a taser gun? Oh, don't get the wrong idea. It's not to use on the other person... it's for me! If I ever feel like I'm losing control and may "tear them a new one" using my gift for gab or the written word, I would just take out my trusty taser and zap myself into a stupor. I don't think it would do wonders for my health, but it could avoid a few screaming matches.

There are people who argue that "hating" someone means that you don't actually hate them because "hate" is an emotion. Truly "hating" someone would be not caring what happens to them, good or bad.

There's some truth to that, obviously.

So, would I help this person if they were being attacked by a mugger and I witnessed it? Probably. I couldn't live with myself if I didn't. Would I yell at them to move out the way if I saw a car barrelling toward them on a street? Probably. Again, I couldn't live with myself if I didn't. I may not be perfect, but I'm not a monster, after all. A jerk, maybe, but not a monster.

Once we're both dead someday and in heaven having a cup of tea and laughing about our rivalry in this life, which I truly do hope we do, I'm not sure if I'll be able to resist snapping their halo in half, though -- you know, just for old times' sake.

But -- for now -- we're still alive. I'm not sure when I'll see this person again, but I'll be sure to recharge my taser before I do. Something tells me I'm gonna need it.

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