Hate is a word bandied about a little too freely by both sides in any given argument. Many use it to belittle a view that they can't counter logically, or to express an arbitrary dislike (ex. "I hate this T.V. show/ice cream flavor/weather."). Hate is traditionally one of the strongest, most base emotions. It is the nuclear weapon of the psyche. Continued overuse by radical fringe groups and those hung up on race and religion takes the power away from the word. Soon, we fail to notice, or worse, actively ignore it.

So, here I am, hoping to prevent another hate crime, or at least, the further decline of western civilization. (You wouldn't believe the paperwork involved on something like that. Cops despise paperwork above all else.) Gather 'round the Zen hotdog stand, kiddies, and let me make you one with everything. Let's get started.

There are some truisms to bear here. First, almost everything you think you hate, you actually only dislike. this includes persons, places, things, and most ideas.

Second, hate without justification doesn't work. In order to really hate someone/thing/place, you need a reason. These reasons, generally, have to be pretty good.(see the difference between a reason and an excuse.)

There are, of course, some perfectly good reasons to dislike another person on an individual basis. Some of these include:

Disagreement on one or more of your/their core values. Examples- politics, sports teams, Windows vs. Linux.

Insult or injury (real). Example- the person in question assaulted you and/or called your mother/sister/significant other a bad name.

Realizing (through word, deed, or just gut feeling) that the person in question is just an asshole.

Dislike, although distasteful, is a reality. No matter how many people like you, there are those who dislike you, deserving or not. You must deal with this. Not all of them can be brought over to your camp. Gandhi knew this, and while working with his enemies toward peace, was shot by one of his own.

Hate is not a word that is easily taken back. As with all weapons of mass destruction,you should think hard before using it.

Dislike, on the other hand, is an opinion, and as such, is as variable as the weather. Go nuts.

One final truism- the exception makes the rule. YMMV

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