“The folks who hate you, they don’t know you.”, Barack Obama said this Super Bowl Sunday 2011. I was just watching part of the interview Fox TV’s, Bill O’Reilly had with US President Obama. A question Bill O’Reilly asked, got me to thinking. O’Reilly asked the President if it bothered him that people really hated him. Obama’s response was no. I”m paraphrasing here but he said something to the effect that, not only did a person have to have a thick skin to make it to a position like the US presidency but Obama matter of factly said that people who hate him, don’t know him. ( This is a link to an article about this )
Isn’t that the truth. You don’t ever hate people you actually know personally. Oh, I’m sure you can strongly dislike someone but hate is such a decisive feeling. It’s very black and white, up and down, in and out. Hate is a very strong emotion and in my opinion based in your own fear of the unknown. Merriam-Webster dictionary agrees. The definition of hate, ‘intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury.’
A trait someone exhibits, like spitting on the sidewalk or picking fluff out of their belly button in public, may annoy you, but that’s not hate. You may find that your political or religious views are far different but that’s not hate. You may love the Packers and think you hate a Steelers fan, but that’s not hate. Someone’s skin color may be a shade or ten away from yours but that’s not hate. That’s life.
Hate is within your control. You cannot hate what you do not hate. Did your head just spin-off your neck with that one? Good. An attitude adjustment is in the works. Next time you find yourself saying you hate someone, take moment and consider where that feeling is coming from. What don’t I know? A great question to ask yourself? Why am I afraid of that person? Another great question to ask. It may just be that you don’t understand them or have all the knowledge you need. Perhaps you’ve not sat down and shared a beer and gotten to know the person you say you hate. I’d say there is at least one thing you have in common that will help you understand that hate is too strong a word and that a simple conversation may just close the divide between people, politics, races, and religions.
I’m not able to ask them, but maybe Bill and Barack after having spent some time together today, actually found something out about each other that they like. It may not be a love affair when it comes to their politics but maybe Bill liked Barack’s sense of humor and disarming ways, and Barack respected Bill’s accomplishment as a TV host and found him intelligent. A little less hate may have a huge impact on our world and that would be something to cheer for.
Don’t hate the game.