Love and Hate

Sort of as a follow-up to the Two-fer Tuesday posts on “Love,” I’m going to talk a little bit about love vs. hate.

It’s easy to hate; let’s face it, destructive stuff is almost always easier than doing creative or constructive stuff. It doesn’t usually take as much effort, and even in those cases when it takes up more physical energy (like trashing a room) than doing something peaceful or loving, it gives us a very visceral satisfaction.

Is it any wonder that it wasn’t all that hard for the serpent (Satan) in the Garden of Eden to knock Adam and Eve off track? Bad boys and girls are almost always attractive on some level, and we secretly want to be them. In video games, if given a choice, I’ll often go the “good guy” route, but I almost always come back to the game to go the “bad boy” route because it’s fun. I sometimes feel wrong for finding it so fun, but I’m not going to lie and say it repels me and I always steer clear of it. I’m not some sanctimonious holier-than-thou dude, you know. I have plenty of other flaws, but that isn’t one of them.

Anyway, in preparing for today’s post, I remembered the character of Radio Raheem in the Spike Lee film Do the Right Thing, a movie I haven’t seen in its entirety since it first came out in the theaters. He had a four fingered ring on each had, each with a word on it in big gaudy letters—if you haven’t seen the movie, imagine brass knuckles with words on them and you’ll get the picture. Anyway, one of them said “Love” and other one said “Hate,” and this is what Radio Raheem said at one point about his finger attire:

Let me tell you the story of “Right Hand, Left Hand.” It’s a tale of good and evil. Hate: It was with this hand that Cain iced his brother. Love: These five fingers, they go straight to the soul of man. The right hand: the hand of love. The story of life is this: Static. One hand is always fighting the other hand; and the left hand is kicking much ass. I mean, it looks like the right hand, Love, is finished. But, hold on, stop the presses, the right hand is coming back. Yeah, he got the left hand on the ropes, now, that’s right. Ooh, it’s the devastating right and Hate is hurt, he’s down. Left-Hand Hate K.O.ed by Love.

I didn’t remember any of that monologue until I did a search on Google about “love and hate” in relation to that film. Maybe you don’t agree with me, but what that character Radio Raheem says is deep. It’s true.

Many Christians hate on non-Christians and many non-Christians hate on Christians. And then a lot of these same folks hate on their own folks. What an effed-up mess that is.

We can choose the route of love or the route of hate in life. Truth be told, most of us will switch between those roads a lot, but in the end, we all choose primarily to use one of those roads to get to where we’re going in life. Hate can get you far sometimes, I have no doubt of that. But love is the one that is going to have the most chance of getting you somewhere valuable and helping the people around you find their way to better places in life, too.

4 thoughts on “Love and Hate

  1. The First Domino

    Robert Frost wrote a poem, The Road Not Taken, about competing choices that can dominate our life. He wasn’t necessarily talking about Love and Hate when he penned these lines,

    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.

    but he could very well have been. Hate, a by-product of Fear, is not our natural state, but it is a normal reaction to some of the things that beset us from time to time.

    But for the Kingdom of Love to come to our world, we will have to bring it here. It’s not going to be forced upon us, because we’re always facing those diverging roads–to love or to hate.

    And whether we choose Love or Hate, will, in the end, make All The Difference. But, it’s my belief that the end is assured, that humankind will ultimately choose Love over Hate (the road “less traveled by”), no matter how dismal the picture appears on occasion.

  2. jsprik

    good good good….love and hate just like good and evil. opposite ends of the spectrum. sometimes we are so determined to find bad that it all but consumes us. i am one of those that believes there is good in some point. there must be SOME good there, because God created us all and He wouldn’t create evil. so in each and every one of us there MUST be some good. if we do not foster the good, but only the bad, then what do you think will be the outcome?? it’s like a computer…you only get OUT of a computer what is programmed IN, correct?? it’s the same with people…you can’t get GOOD out if you only put in BAD. here is something to think about: we need to put into our families and friends what we want to get out of them…..wasn’t there something we used to live by called the golden rule??? do unto others as you would have done unto you??? what ever happened to that???

  3. Deacon Blue

    @ The First Domino:

    Thanks for that excerpt from Frost. Haven’t read that poem in ages, but that’s a passage that always crops up from time to time in life and you’re right, it goes very well with what I was discussing.


    @ WNG:

    Thanks. That might be the sweetest thing anyone has ever said about one of my posts.


    @ JSprik:

    You’re right, we all have good in us. The problem is that it’s covered over with so much spiritual goop that sometimes it’s hard to find unless we take the time to really look for it.

    To a certain extent, societal mores and norms force us to have to dig up a good chunk of our goodness to get along with others. The big question is how many of us have dug deep enough that our goodness…and our love…is really sincere, or at least mostly so?

    I have no answer to that question; just an interesting thought, I guess.


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