Acts of Hatred, Hate Crimes, and Degradation of Others
In light of a recent hate crime committed at the local high school wherein four youth were charged with painting racist graffiti on school property, I started giving a lot more thought to the nature of hate and what it does to us as humans. Outright acts of hate as well as hate’s lesser cousins–cruelty, cynicism, criticism, bullying–all work to separate us from each other. Haters may feel threatened, vulnerable, fearful, but sadly these feeling can get twisted into acts that will degrade and distance themselves from others.
Losers Just Hate, Haters Just Lose
During a recent visit to Pimlico Racetrack to enjoy a sunrise tour before the Preakness Stakes, I spotted a groom with his Thoroughbred charge strolling down the shedrow. His T-shirt said: Losers Just Hate. I imagine it was a reference to competition, wherein the losers in any field often find excuses to malign the winners, envy them, or generally degrade their accomplishments. It was funny, but sadly a bit too close to the truth.
I thought about turning that slogan around to read: Haters Just Lose. Because that’s exactly what happens. Haters lose out on everything. Peace of mind, joy in life, experiencing new things, loving other people… the list goes on and on. Chronic haters have more health problems including heart disease, impaired immune system, stroke (see Toxic Emotions Can Lead to Serious Health Problems/HuffPost).
Vulnerability, Daring Greatly, and Discounting the Haters
Brene Brown, NYT Bestselling Author of The Gifts of Imperfection and other books, examines the concept of vulnerability and how to have the courage to be open, to live, love, parent, and lead in her book Daring Greatly. She writes, “The fear of being vulnerable can unleash cruelty, criticism, and cynicism in all of us. Making sure we take responsibility for what we say is one way that we can check our intentions. Dare greatly and put your name on your posted comments online.” Indeed. How often people hide behind anonymity in order to unleash their cruelty. Brown advises those victimized by online trolls to discount comments from anyone who is not also “in the arena” and owning up to their words, and ignore those who act too cool to be vulnerable. Her final words of advice are funny. She says nothing serves as a better reminder for her (to ignore detractors) than the words of her friend, Scott Stratten, author of UnMarketing: (she quotes) “Don’t try to win over the haters; you’re not the jackass whisperer.”