During the recent gathering of Gentrimed Heroes Movement, Inc., Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio talked about how hatred has devastated us a nation. This hatred, if not stopped, “will continue to be the stumbling block to patriotism,” according to Maya Padillo who quoted the country’s second highest official.
The same kind of hatred has divided the Filipino people – now numbered to about 110 million – “and will further break people into pieces if they don’t let it go.”
This division has reminded me the famous words of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. On June 16, 1941, he used the phrase, “United we stand, divided we fall” in a broadcast from London to the United States on receiving an Honorary Degree from the University of Rochester.
What the phrase means: If we work together as a nation, we can be successful. However, if we fight against each other, we will definitely fall.
So, why do we hate? As a verb, it means “feel intense or passionate dislike for (someone). Example: Maria hates going to the market. As a noun, hate is defined as “intense or passionate dislike.” Example: He has feelings of hate and revenge.
Among the common synonyms of hate are abhor, abominate, detest, and loathe. If you consult your dictionary, all these words mean “to feel strong aversion or intense dislike for,” the hate here implies an emotional aversion often coupled with enmity or malice.
There are some people who hate animals like dogs and cats, which others consider as pets. But people are the highest form of animals and why can’t be like them? As American singer-actor Elvis Presley puts it, “Animals don’t hate, and we’re supposed to be better than them.”
Let’s take a closer look at hate.
“Hate can be a deeply stimulating emotion,” wrote Fredrik Backman in Beartown. “The world becomes easier to understand and much less terrifying if you divide everything and everyone into friends and enemies, we and they, good and evil.
“The easiest way to unite a group isn’t through love, because love is hard; it makes demands. Hate is simple. So, the first thing that happens in a conflict is that we choose a side, because that’s easier than trying to hold two thoughts in our heads at the same time,” Backman continued.
“The second thing that happens is that we seek out facts that confirm what we want to believe – comforting facts, ones that permit life to go on as normal. The third is that we dehumanize our enemy.”
Most Filipinos think they are Christians or followers of Christ. After all, Philippines is the only Christian country in Asia. But still, it seems to me, they cannot love their enemies which Jesus Christ asked His followers to follow.
In A Knock at Midnight, Martin Luther King, Jr., reminded us: “It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. Just keep loving them, and they can’t stand it too long. Oh, they react in many ways in the beginning. They react with guilt feelings, and sometimes they’ll hate you a little more at that transition period, but just keep loving them.
“And by the power of your love, they will break down under the load. That’s love, you see. It is redemptive, and this is why Jesus says love. There’s something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So, love your enemies.”
The reason why people cannot move on, and hate remains in their heart is because they cannot deal with the pain that comes along with it once hatred is gone. As James Baldwin wrote in The Fire Next Time: “Imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.”
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that,” wrote Martin Luther King, Jr. in A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches. In like manner, “Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
Love is the opposite of hate. But Amish Tripathi disagrees. In The Secret of the Nagas, he writes: “The opposite of love is not hate. Hate is just love gone bad. The actual opposite of love is apathy. When you don’t care a damn as to what happens to the other person.”
Elie Wiesel believes the opposite of love is indifference. “The opposite of love is not hate,” he pointed out, “it’s indifference.” And it’s only hate, by the way, but there’s more: “The opposite of art is not ugliness, but indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.”
Now, if we love our country, we need to stop this hating each other. For the sake of our motherland, please.