To hate is to harbor, to be kind is to connect.

There are words and phrases that sting me. Slap me in to the present. Sometimes they make me laugh and think good joyous thoughts—think zip a dee doo dah You’re smiling, aren’t you? But then there are words that bite and make me feel sad and confused. One of those words is hate. A friend posted the other day that she hates… thus and so. I cringed and thought, I certainly hope not. How can we hate someone? How can we toss out the word hate as though it is an acceptable way of describing someone or something?

I know there might be some of us out there who say: Well, I hate my ex-boss—the one who fired me. I hate my ex-husband and his annoying girlfriend. I hate…fill in the blank. To me using the word hate takes a temporary situation—even if temporary is many years—and turns it into a long lasting resolution. A resolution that fires ill thoughts and feelings. Certainly, we all have had the frustration of people who have come into our lives and left them not exactly a nicer place. But rather than embrace our hurt or dismay, we move further from ourselves and others when we expend the emotion of hate.

When we hate, whether we use the word flippantly or with sincere intent, we are robbing ourselves of the energy and the ability to know peace. The world may not be able to subsist on love alone and there are emotions that are not always joyous and make us laugh, but when we choose words to describe our emotions—especially the ones that describe other people, it seems the gift we can offer ourselves is the peace found in kindness.

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