I was thinking about the word hate the other day and I realized that the only other word I could think of in the English language that was more often overused and misused was love. (Go figure, right?)
I'm as guilty as anyone of regularly misusing hate. It's really easy. "Oh man, I hate that commercial!" "Oh man, I hate this weather." "Oh man, I hate reality shows!" And my favorite, all-encompassing proclamation: "Man, I hate this!" What I forget is that hate is a really strong word. I should keep it in reserve for special occasions, for things I really despise. So I got to thinking, when I say hate, how often do I really mean it? I mean really mean it? What do I actually despise? Well, stupidity. And hate.
I hate stupidity. Not to be confused with ignorance. In my own little personal life-dictionary, I define ignorance as a lack of knowledge but a willingness to learn. But stupidity is a lack of knowledge with no desire to know any better. (Most of the time stupid people don't even know they're stupid.)
Take bigots, for example. Bigots are stupid. Everyone (except them) knows they're stupid. They hate because of something completely arbitrary. People are born black or white or brown or yellow. They're born gay or straight or bi or, sadly, none of the above (I'd hate that). None of which has anything to do with how well they can fire a rifle or flip a burger or balance a spreadsheet. But Barney Bigot will discriminate against them because he's stupid. Sometimes I wonder, when Barney and Betty Bigot go to the movies, say "A Time To Kill", and the racists are the bad guys, do they root for the racists? Do they go, "Huh? I don' geddit. Why is ever'body clappin' fer them colored boys?" Bigots hate so indiscriminately, if they bumped into themselves on the street, they'd probably hate each other. To hate without reason or provocation is stupid. And I hate it.
So, in summation: I hate stupidity. And I hate bigots because they're stupid and spread hate.
Maybe next time we can discuss the word dislike. Way longer list…