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November 20, 2012



Very powerful. It has surprised me to see how acceptable hate has become in the political arena--and how angry people become when you call on them to stop.

Jaya Lakshmi

Maybe it's just because I'm a cynic, but I've always thought that fiction gives us an outlet for anger. No one likes Voldemort or Selia, although we may have affection for certain Austenland rogues, and villains allow us to hate with impunity. That catharsis in real life we can be merciful and accept moral ambiguity.

I agree that we shouldn't bully Stephanie Meyer. Poke fun at Twilight's melodrama, yes, but only in private company, and with affection the way that we would poke fun at politicians on Jon Stewart. I won't make fun of Twilight in public anymore if it promotes hate.

Connie Onnie

Thank you for this post Shannon it is truly inspiring.

B Stew

Wow that is amazingly well said and spot on to my perspective too! Thank you for writing this post!


Thank you so much for this post. It is so, so true. My husband and I were both bullied growing up...my husband was even physically bullied. And this last election was horrible to us. It got to where things were so uncivil in the political arena that we didn't want to vote for either side. I guess the only question I have, Shannon, (and I mean this with sincerity, not sarcasm) is aren't there instances in which adults and parents/children have to have serious conversations that hurt but can't be considered hate? I'm not talking about calling people names-that's never acceptable in my eyes. I'm only talking about dealing with the serious stuff with honesty....maybe the areas of Standing Up for Myself or Others or A Better Country, as applied to life in general. Is there anyway to make truth, like medicine, go down entirely without pain?


To somewhat respond to Sheri above, I talk to my kids about this all the time. Our family's religion (Baha'i faith, just for anyone curious) teaches that we strive to love everyone. But that there is a difference between loving someone and fully approving of their behavior. We can strive to love even those who are intolerant, bullying, or hateful--to touch their hearts by letting them see that love--but we can also in no way condone hateful behavior. You are so right, hate is never okay, never.




Once again, beautifully insightful and hits at the core of what so many people need to understand, but don't. Thank you, Shannon!

I would add one thing: We should never, EVER assume that hate is what motivates those who disagree with us. I never cease to be amazed at the accusations that get thrown around so lightly. ("So-and-so hates women! So-and-so hates Christians! So-and-so hates homosexuals! So-and-so hates poor people!") As if these accusers understand best what motivates the other person to take the stance they do. Most political and social (and literary) opinions are not motivated by hate at all, but by a different set of values and ideals. There may be discomfort or even dislike involved, but those aren't the same as hate. Hate is the extreme on the spectrum. And in our bigger-is-better culture, we tend to abuse superlatives. I think that's why the word 'hate' is so trendy right now. It's just like what you said about tossing around extreme words like "evil" and "idiot." When we assume that the "other" person is motivated by the worst possible emotion, they become dehumanized in the worst possible way, and we feel justified in doing and saying unkind things.

Thanks for the great food for thought. And thanks for being willing to tackle sticky subjects that need tackling!


I completely agree with your post. I know far too many people who use extremes when stating opinions. Heck, I've been known to throw out the occasional crazy statistic myself (who hasn't -- and by the way, did you know that 47.3% of all statistics are made up on the spot? I know, right?). My parents raised us in an amazingly accepting environment. Just because someone doesn't agree with you politically, religiously, or on who is the best movie Batman doesn't mean that you treat them or their opinion like they are beneath you. Elections seem to bring out the worse in people, and this one seemed to me to be even more divisive than previous elections.


Thank you so much for this post! I completely agree. Hating makes no sense to me.

Janeil Jones

I can't even begin to tell you how very much I agree with you! I wrote a whole blog post about this too, because it's so mean and hurtful and very, very divisive! Thank you for your eloquent words!


Yes. Thank you for posting this, Shannon.

Diana Fourall

Freakish. This flows right with the thoughts I've been thinking these past few months.

'Becca Black

I LOVE THIS POST! Thank you, thank you.

Beth Lemon

Truth beautifully and poignantly written. Thank you Shannon. Are you sure you don't want to write one of those 365 days of advice books? Chicken Soup for the Shannon fans?

Heather Moore

Amen. Amen. Amen.


These past few weeks/months, I have been hearing other people's opinions about government and the people who should or should not run it. It's too easy to fall in with sometimes, but I always go back to this. No matter what the news, websites, individuals say about these political persons, I don't know them personally, and so I can't really judge them for what they say and do. I can't see their side of the problem. So even though I don't agree with their methods, I can't rightly call them bad or good.


Is there going to be another Princess Academy book? PLEASE?? :D

Robin Weeks (@Robin_Weeks)

It's sort of amazing how we can become so polarized, we can go months thinking that 50% of the country is completely devoid of reason, morals, and sense.


Also, I'm reading The Actor and the Housewife and if I fail NaNo, it's your fault. :P

Tessa White

Thank for this post, Shannon. I wish I had seen it yesterday,...through some sort of time warp, since you didn't put it up until today. Yesterday I learned about a 15 year old girl who killed herself in response to cyber bullying among other things. Your post eloquently sums up what what I felt but couldn't express. And it's always reassuring to me to see people trying to lessen hate and respond to people with kindness and civility.

Sheri S

So beautifully written, it makes my heart pound. Ever since I was living in a world of hateful bullying at age 13, this topic has made my very soul ache. I wish every person on earth could read these words and apply them to their lives.


that was touching, and true. But it's hard not to hate those who've really hurt you. Not to have hate is to have forgivness and mercy, two of the toughest traits to aquire. I agree we shouldn't hate especially just because someone has a different oppinion, but it's not always that easy. Everyone hates at one time or another.
My seminary teacher once wrote,
"When I forgave my fellow man
I set a prisoner free
And in the deed, I came to know
The prisoner was me"


Brother Tim Carver.

Brittany Adams

I am not always very good with words, but you have stated so well something that has been bothering me for months, especially in the context of politics and the election. Our country is in a scary state, and what scares me is the hate and intolerance for other people's opinions. Thank you for writing this. I shared it on my Facebook and hope that many more people will come to read it.

girl in the red pants

Amen and amen.


Weep weep weep.

Also, yay for Shannon Hale.

Amelia Loken

Thank you for your words, Shannon. It was timely as my oldest came home from school today crying because he was taunted and teased on the bus because someone accused him of farting. The four kids continued to tease him even after he covered his head with the hood of his coat and shrunk down in his seat and until he left the bus. When he got off the bus, a new set of kids realized that he'd been crying and started teasing him. As they walked beside him, continuing to taunt him, he asked them to quit, then pushed the kid away. The pushing and shoving only stopped when he called a truce and hurried home.

My son is now afraid that the bullies will somehow do something to him at home, he was afraid I was going to be disappointed in him fighting. He is afraid that, since I've contacted the school that HE will be the one punished and put in detention.

I can't describe the rollercoaster of emotions I have felt this afternoon and evening. Hurt, sorrow, mama-bear-anger...
You are right, Shannon.
Hating is wrong.
The belittling of others is wrong.
The taunting and name calling is wrong.
I WISH that we all lived the Golden Rule a little more, rather than thrusting a sword in someone's armor chinks. Don't kick 'em when they're down.
Please, please, please, be kind.



Golf GIrl

My son has autism and I wonder what kind of a life he has ahead of him. He's been bullied at school--not so badly this year--but it's hard to think life might be like for him as he gets older. What chance does he have to succeed in a world that only accepts things that don't interfere or bother them or that meet their needs? Thanks for the post. I know there is some hypocrisy in all of us so I aim to do better myself.


I have been the victim of "adult" bullying that left me devastated at the cruelty. The thought that sustained me during this time was, what awful things happened to this person to make her behave this way? While I could not control her actions, I could control my reactions. Ironically, just as I was typing this, a student stopped by to tell me that while I was at NCTE, there was a class meeting about the way some students were treating others--these are also adults--21-40 years old.... I think of the oft quoted, "Be kind to everyone you meet, for each is fighting a great battle."




Wonderful post. I think it's important for everyone not to hate, but especially for writers. Writers put ideas into people's heads, and the more writers who are open to everyone and understand everyone, the better the world will be.


Bravo! I hope everybody who sees this will bask in your words. You continue to blow me away will you're goodness of heart and amazing morality. Bullying is a very big problem right now and this will circulate to at least a few bullies-to-be. Shannon Hale, you just saved the lives of all who would have been hurt by these bullies-to-be. Congratulations! I know I don't have the right to tell you how to raise your kids, but I think you should just do whatever your mother did for you,because it obviously worked.

Louisiana Kid

Well spoken! The only good hate is the hate against the wrong doings we do, so that we may strive to never commit them. It's the only way we can eliminate hurtfulness from the earth.


I totally agree with what you said. I think the way to stop hating people, is to try to understand and forgive them. To think about that person you hate and try to understand them. You might not know what's going on with them, what troubles they may have. So whatever they did or are doing to make you mad, try to understand it. They're human too, they make mistakes just like you. They deserve forgiveness just as much as you, so forgive them.

Chun Xiaoping

I strongly disagree with this post.
As someone who grew up in China at the onset of the Cultural Revolution, I saw my sister starve to death as I, too, was starving. I saw the Red Guards beat my mother because she disagreed with Mao's policies. I saw my father drink himself to oblivion to escape the heartache and the tragedy. I did the same. I'm still a recovering alcoholic. I saw my uncle dragged off into prison for failing to do the obligatory morning prayer. I personally dug the grave for dozens of my friends and family. I began hating the people who did this to me, a hatred that still exists today. I fled the country, but when I went back for a visit this past summer and saw a Mao statue on a fireplace, revulsion filled me.
This post genuinely made me aghast at the deeply presumptuous nature of entitled first-world citizens. You see bullying and political debate on the news, and so call for an end to all hate in the world? This is the extent of your vision? I further see comment after comment of mewling sycophants, who also live rich American lifestyles, agreeing with you, emboldening this sort of entitled close-mindedness. You come to your conclusion that "it's not okay to hate anyone" after examining the realms of extreme left/right wing politics and children. Should I laugh, or cry at your shamefully ignorant perspective? I'm not sure.
I ask you: is my profound hatred of those who killed and tortured and starved my family justified? Perhaps a stronger woman could find it in herself to forgive, but I hold that the vast majority of humankind could never do it. Perhaps one could say that my hatred for Communism as a whole is wrong, and perhaps they're right -- but I will never forgive those who destroyed my family, my traditions. I will hold within myself a burning, unquenchable hatred towards them until I die. I feel good about denying those who beat my family their humanity. It's the absolute least I can do, to remain sane: Hate them. I would kill them, if I could.
I beg the consideration of the readership: Is hate not a natural, human emotion, just as love and joy? Why repress a very real aspect of life? Can hatred not inspire humans to do great works? Influence moving and poignant literature? Embolden people to pursue better things, to fight against an oppressive regime, to stand up for what they believe?
And, dear author: To call for elimination of the word "hate" from your vocabulary is to extinguish a passion, a motivation, something that intricately and beautifully describes the human condition. I say, feel what you want to feel, if it makes someone better. Even hate.


I am not sure how to take this post. I agree that there needs to be less hate in our world, but I am more concerned about what people label as hate. Are you saying that there is no room for having or venting strong feelings? If so, I would very, very strongly disagree. I believe we are meant to have strong feelings and even strong negative feelings. But we are also meant to learn to process those feelings in a way that we can learn from them and grow. And sometimes that really does mean venting those thoughts and feelings.

From reading this post it seems like you are saying that we should all just go around numbly and almost fake in our automatic acceptance of everything and everyone, as if we have no prior idea of what is right and what is wrong, or what is hurtful and what is not. Maybe that isn't what you intended to say, but that is the way it seems to me.

Sometimes fingers do need to be pointed, to acknowledge the rightness or wrongness of something, just as you did in your post.

I grew up in a home and a culture where it was not okay to acknowledge the wrongs that other people committed. It all had to be stuffed and ignored, in order to prevent hurting the feelings of the perpetrator, the one who did the hurting in the first place. How ironic is that. I have seen first hand the affects of simply trying to accept the other side of things, even when you have feel uneasy about it, without defending your own rights, your own position, or your own anything. The effects were that the perpetrator was enbabled to continue perpetrating, and I fell further and further into oblivion. I shriveled up inside, without anyone who would validate me. Neither the perpetrators, nor I were able to grow, because any negative sentiments I had had to be stifled. Now that I am older I have finally given vent to some of the feelings that I have had, and not always in a polite way. But guess what--that has been the impetus for growth on both sides. When the other person was finally pressed to see how deeply the things they had done hurt me, and pushed finally to accept the responsibility of their actions was not a bad thing on either side.

I know that politicians are real people with feelings, but I have a hard time seeing political discussions as bullying. We can't ignore the reality that the views and decisions of our political leaders will affect us (and has affected us already) in a very real and close-up way. I think it would be worse to not have strong opinions about which candidate is right or wrong than it is to voice those strong opinions, without watering them down. I, for one, want my children to see that those issues are extremely important to me. I also want my children to see that I can have strong opinions, voice them, and work through them. And I also am fine with my children hearing me say, "I am truly sorry." and "I was wrong." or hear someone else say to me, "I was wrong, and I am sorry." I think many of us are too quick to count things as hate that are not actually hate.


Actually, more accurately, I am not MORE concerned about what is considered hate, but I am ALSO concerned about what is considered hate.

justin bieber shoes

It's an interesting dilemma that Lurie will face. Is the talent on the current roster really that bad? Or are they being misused by the coaching staff? Are the players failing because of a depleted and stressful atmosphere that seems to be surrounding the team? Or are they simply overrated?
I think it's a combination of all that.

Many people think when Reid goes, Vick will go with him and this team will get blown up with the exception of a few core players. If we were to bring in someone like Gruden, I think he'd likely stick with Vick and try to reshape the offense so that it better suits his skill set.

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