I hate my phone.
I hate kale.
I hate Justin Bieber.
What’s with us and carelessly throwing around the word hate? I honestly don’t think I could muster up enough energy to hate an annoying pop star.
I probably notice it more because, in my house, hate is a bad word. I implemented this “mom law” years ago because, frankly, I didn’t want my kids saying “I hate you.” or “I hate her.” or “I hate them.” It was to protect others and to protect them from saying something regretful in a moment of anger.
So when I see the word hate in the context of some mundane thing (like kale), it’s funny. It’s absurd. And, honestly, it’s warranted. Kale is disgusting. Kale is hateworthy.
But kale is a gateway hate subject. Bear with me. When we use hate to describe how we feel about hairy, bitter spinach, it’s easy. It doesn’t hurt anyone. But then we continue to make the word hate part of our vocabulary.
We talk about our phones or our internet. We hate celebrities because they are annoying, or popular, or successful. Still, no one’s getting hurt, right?
But as we get used to saying “hate” all the time, it loses it’s power to us. We turn our hatred from objects and inconveniences and distant figures to real people. That’s when people start getting hurt.
I hate that woman because she thinks she’s so perfect.
I hate that guy because everyone loves him.
I hate you.
This is what goes through my head if I hear kids say, “I hate cleaning the house.” or “I hate that movie.” I worry, that eventually, that hate will hit a person, and it will hurt.