The Definition of Hate

“Jews will not replace us!” shout the torch-bearing bigots in Charlottesville.

“Yes, I hate Islam,” posts the state legislator on social media.

“I hate you!” screams the wronged five-year-old to his Mom when she refuses him a second ice cream cone.

So what is hate, anyway? A quick look in the big dictionary in the attic tells us that the word itself tracks back about 6,500 years to something roughly pronounced “kad-” which means “grief, sorrow, calamity.”

So at the root of hate are, literally, grief, sorrow and calamity.

A building with Nazi swastikas

Scientology’s founder, L. Ron Hubbard, researching in 1950, discovered that emotions can be sequenced and understood in a scale, with Apathy descending to Death at the bottom, and Enthusiasm rising to Serenity at the top. Not quite at bottom, but close to it lies Fear. Slightly north of Fear, literally less than half a degree one finds Hate. Hate is so close to Fear, in fact, that the two have a lot they can talk about. A person in Fear, therefore, will look up to (literally) and believe whatever a person in Hate may spew. A ready example is what happened in Germany before the Second World War when a nation in Fear followed a leader in Hate over the cliff to disaster. (Note to self: Hate always leads to disaster).

We fear… and the fear becomes hate.

So we find that the roots of Hate lie in grief, sorrow, calamity, which manifests as fear. Something horrible happens, some calamity, imagined or real. Something or someone has brought about or threatens to bring about grief and sorrow. Our natural bent is to fear that thing/person/group, and that Fear becomes Hate.

So the formula is: one’s own calamity is brought about, one believes, by some source which (or who) is then blamed for the calamity. We fear that source and the fear becomes hate. Calamity + Blame + Fear = Hate.

The calamity might be manufactured or exaggerated, as may also be the source which is blamed. The natural reaction to a source of calamity is Fear, but Fear, among humans, is regarded as an unflattering circumstance—so we redecorate it with a scowl and a sneer and come up with something we regard as more red-blooded and hairy: Hate. Hate, we feel, is effective, powerful, virile—not namby-pamby and cowering, like Fear. But Fear it is, and Fear it shall always be, no matter how much we ream, scream and meme.

So just as the only thing we need to fear is Fear itself, so the only thing truly worth hating is Hate. And since Hate equals Fear, anyway, the next time you feel your gorge rising with venom against something you’ve read or someone you’ve heard, try this handy little remedy: a) realize you’ve been had; b) recognize that your natural sweet temper has been tampered with without your consent; and c) direct your venom against that alien unpleasant feeling in your gut, rather than at the moronic twit that caused it. It will evaporate, you will regain your serenity, and you’ll look younger and feel better: guaranteed.