I’ve had a number of really interesting conversations about the issue since I wrote my anti-anger post.
The most startling observation I’ve pulled from these talks is that most people conflate anger and hatred.
I do not.
As you know, I find my anger is useless and ALWAYS destructive. Hatred, on the other hand, has been extremely important in my life, a driving force, even motivational.
I was an excellent geometry student, I got 3 A plusses and an A across four quarters of it. I therefore, automatically placed into Advanced Math 2.
A week before class starts she calls me, at home, says her name and tells me that after seeing my name on her roster, she was calling to impress upon me that geometry is NOT mathematics. Her class would push the limits of an excellent student of math and I was, in her words, “far from such a student.”
Oh no she didn’t!
She was right, of course, my first year at Poly, I flunked out of advanced math in eighth grade and had to be “relocated” to “regular math,” with Ms. DeReiter in one of those classrooms that had pictures of pies, in quarters and halves on the wall. Oh, the humiliation.
But what could I do? I sucked at math. I aced regular and Geo and now I was back in advanced and no damn hell ass chain smoking ex-nun psycho math Nazi was sending me back to regular!
I took copious notes, studied my ASS off, paid the utmost attention and then got a 67 on the first test.
She wrote D+ next to it (you know, cause 67 was a number and OBVIOUSLY I didn’t understand numbers.) At the top of the page she added “See me.”
Again, she impressed upon me, that I did not belong in this class.
I smiled, as I often did when I was nervous, thanked her, said I was staying and hatched a plan. Actually, my plan turned out to be even more brilliant than I imagined at the time.
One of my close friends was a kid, a year above me, with an aptitude so natural in math and science, he’d aced stupid Ms. Donovan’s class as a freshman without even showing up.
He offered to tutor me and he did…with all his old tests. So while I still was a block of wood when it came to understanding what the hell invisible numbers were for, damn if I didn’t memorize every single question and right answer.
And as the semester went on, I realized that the psycho nazi was also very very lazy.
They wouldn’t be in exactly the same order, or on the same tests, but they were the same questions.
No more D plusses for Dawn!
I qualified for Advanced Math 3.
I CHOSE to decline the invitation.
Hate, my friends, cool headed, well planned hate bested Ms. Donovan’s silly anger that excellence in a course she didn’t respect as math would land a math dunce in her elite calculus section.
When I was a kid, I got sent down to Sister Frances’ office for lots of stuff…one of my favorites was when I decided that Jesus is love could just as accurately be Jesus is Hate.
“Jesus hates death, and disease and liars and sin and money grubbers, doesn’t he?” (Ha! Why don’t people use the phrase money grubber as much when they grow up?!)
“Well, how would you like to tell Sister Frances that you believe our lord is hate?”
And off I went.
Anyway, my point is hate, in itself isn’t a bad thing. Hate is shorthand for that which we reject and repudiate. If there is truly, no one and nothing that you hate…well, I dunno, I won’t judge, but really what are you then? How can you tell your limits?
Me? I have a long list of things I hate, a somewhat shorter list of people I hate and exactly 1 city that I hate.
That’s why I like this poem! It may be the first hate poem in the history of poem writing!
Sure, Emily cops out a bit in the second stanza, but maybe not.
She says hating would take her lifetime, probably longer, since the grave would cut her labors of hate short.
Love, would also take a long time, but it’s more doable than hate and since you’ve gotta do something…
i had no time to hate by Emily Dickinson
I had no time to hate, because
The grave would hinder me,
And life was not so ample I
Could finish enmity.
Nor had I time to love, but since
Some industry must be,
The little toil of love, I thought,
Was large enough for me.