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December 12, 2012



What I don't understand is when so many people seem to spend so much time tearing things down that they personally don't like. OK, you don't like it, and that is a legitimate opinion. But wouldn't their time be much better spent in building up something they like, rather than tearing down something they don't like?

Of course when there is a moral issue its different, I'm thinking of things that are completely about personal opinion.


When I teach my students about the argument, I teach them that there is a difference between being passionate about a topic and writing and essay based solely on emotion. I teach them to back up that passion with logic and organization, facts and support.

Interesting, this tends to knock out all the anti-gay and the like types of essay topics. When people have to think rationally about their topic, they quickly realize that their hatred (or other wild passionate response) makes very little sense and just doesn't WORK as an argument.


Okay, I'm jumping in again, and I hope you don't mind...
Definitely agree! Hate is very, very bad and while I can honestly say that I have no hatred toward anyone at this moment, when I hear about people committing certain acts of violence toward children, something akin to that particular feeling starts rising up in me!
I think what I was asking in my comment on your last post is why making someone cry would automatically mean I acted in hate. So far as I know, I have never made someone cry. But I have made people angry...but evoking strong emotion in others doesn't mean that I'm acting in hate or even a bully...just a thought. And thank you for allowing me to comment. I truly appreciate the discussions you host :-)


I think the main difference between passion and hatred is love. Passion in its very core is about love--a love for some stance, belief, ideology, person, etc. It's an uplifting, enlightening, and beautiful thing. However, hatred is about tearing down and belittleing.

You can have a debate with someone and argue passionately for what you believe in, but it turns to hatred when it becomes more about expressing how right you are versus sharing your opinions of beliefs because you love what you are sharing. There is a fine line between passion and hate; they both burn hot and have a tendancy to consume, but hate is almost always about tearing down others to prove your point or forcing them to accept your belief.

In the end, I think the clearest measuring stick between passion and hatred is when you walk away from the discussion, debate, or argument. If at that moment you want nothing more than to deck the person, that's probably more hatred than passion and no matter how right or moral your side may be, you've just lost the high ground.


Great post! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

melissa @ 1lbr

As always, your posts inspire much thinking on my part. Hate is a very interesting word and I think many of us (myself included) tend to toss it around lightly while meaning something else. At the very least, I'll be thinking twice before I say "I hate..." now.


As I like to say, there is a positive to everything, so why can't we dwell in that instead of hating?


I've been thinking a lot about the concept of hate lately. It's the end of finals week, and it's not really something that generally brings out the more loving sides of people. There's been a lot of, "I hate such-and-such professor and class" thrown around in my major a lot lately (there's a group of about 30 of us that have virtually every class together) with finals week frustrations, and it's hard to hear, because hate is such a strong emotion and so destructive. Regardless of how unhappy I might be with the way a class went or the grade I receive, it doesn't justify hatred to me. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one trying to eliminate hate from my life!

Rachel Fike

Interesting thoughts. We as a culture and society definitely need to be more aware and careful of our use of the the word 'hate'. But even more important are the attitudes and thoughts behind that word. Why are we thinking that way in the first place? And can we, on our own, really rid ourselves of hate completely?

Also, I think it's okay to 'hate' some things in this life, like evil, greed, jealousy, etc. This more 'righteous' kind of hate should be the only one we engage in, but too often that's not the case.


Looking back, I wasted a lot of my emotional health on hate in my teen years even up to my early twenties. It was bitter and toxic and made me the kind of person I would feel sympathy for today. I hated this person, I hated this situation, I hated that thing...I started to think of it as poison: the kind that kills you hot and slowly and spreads to the people around you. I needed to suck the poison out of my life.
But I have very strong beliefs about how things are and should be. And I think it's possible to feel passionate about something without feeling hatred towards the opposing.

Rick Walton

I am so with you Shannon. I've been thinking a lot about this over the last couple of years. I think there are a lot of problems. The first, I think, is our natural tendency to think of the world as being "us" vs "them". There is no "them". It is all "us". When there are differences of opinion that seem to divide us, there is always a higher something that brings us together. We are republicans, democrats, independents, but we are all Americans. We are Americans, Europeans, Africans, etc., but we are all human beings. We are human beings and tigers, but we are all living creatures. If we see the differences as a healthy way of helping us see various parts of the same big picture, then we realize that we are not trying to choose one side over the other, but rather trying to discover the greater truths, the greater solutions, that are best for all. I could go on for days talking about this, but it's time for dinner. (We are carnivores, we are herbivores, but we're all hungry!)


Very interesting post! I feel like as we grow older we throw out the word "hate" to much. I remember when I was much younger and I told someone "I hate you" for the first time and afterwords I felt so horrible! But nowadays as society we use it much to often. You hate a sport team or a rival school, just because they aren't yours and it drives me insane because how can you hate something you've never gone to or experienced? So anyways I totally agree with you.

'Becca Black

I love this post! And Melanie, I love your comment! And I agree!!

Rachael M

Once again, AMEN! This is why I've tried to teach my sons from the moment they could talk that "hate" is really not a word we use in our family-- most especially in relation to our fellow human beings. It's just NOT okay to hate.


The first word I thought of while reading your post was "amen.". Lots of good thoughts - thanks.


"There is no them. It is all us."

Thank you Rick Walton. I'm going to embroider this on a pillow.


I totally agree with this post. I don't want to claim innocence here, I've admited to saying I hate someone more than once, but it is so easy to disagree with someone and not hate them. Take you're parents for example. Many couples don't vote for the same president. Many people don't. That doesn't keep us from getting along. If anything it lets us learn about each other.


In my opinion people should not hate people. I think it's ok to hate a crime as long as you have mercy, compassion, and the will to help those who do these crimes. No one is perfect at this and no one can say they truley don't hate someone. It's natural but I think we should strive to hate the crime not the criminal. I read a story once about a man who had this dream (yes this will be kind of religious but I'm kind of a Molly Mormon so...), in this dream they found themselves in a place with turrents and other men with guns. They realized almost at once they were in concentration camp and then they were surrounded by these men and with them was Hitler his men sharpening their swords and getting ready their guns. But, this man having the dream stepped up and said something like, "I am your brother. You are my brother. In our heavenly home we lived together in love and peace. Why can we not so live here on earth?" Both men seemed to have the same wonderful experiance and he felt love for Hitler. And then Hitler rose and they embraced and kissed eachother. The Moral Pres. George F. Richards saw was that he should love the good as well as the bad even when it's not easy.

Lisa Y

I didn't think much about hate until my first child started throwing the word around like I had thoughtlessly been doing for years. "I hate..." is appalling when it comes out of the mouth of a round cheeked 4-year-old. Our family broadened our vocabulary right then and made changes in the way we expressed our feelings. Five years later, we're all better for it. That small change made me check myself in other ways. I stopped getting so easily and quickly upset at other drivers. They couldn't hear my complaints about their driving, but my toddlers in the back seat could. I started taking notice of the people around me in stores, making eye contact, and smiling. I made conscious efforts to treat cashiers like real people and didn't roll my eyes, sigh, or voice my frustrations when the line was long and slow moving. Humanizing each other - even in the smallest ways - works wonders for the heart.

I love everything you share about the editing process of writing, and I often feel that we all need to be better at editing our thoughts and words. When we take time to consider how we really feel about something and express it clearly with compassion, our opinions are strengthened, much like the time and work you put into editing makes your writing even more beautiful and expressive.

Thanks Shannon. I always leave your blog and books with a renewed desire to be better.


I agree with you completely. Hate does no good whatsoever. Shannon, I really like how honest you are. Even when you get negative feedback on something, you stay true to what you believe, but you do it without hating, you yourself are a great example of how people can stand strongly for what they believe in without hating. Thank you for your honesty and thank you also for your wonderful writing. I was skimming through and all around palace of stone all morning, hopefully within these last few days of 2012 I will actually sit down and READ the whole thing instead of jumping around. :) thanks again,

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