Don’t hate the playa, hate the game.”

Last night I was watching the first game of the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks. During the second quarter, one of the announcers stated that the Heat were the most heated team in the league based on fan voting, and that LeBron James was the most hated player.

Another commentator questioned both of these. He said how could anyone hate a team that only wanted to win, that had done what other teams have done over the years. He also said how could anyone hate a person whose only sin was changing job locations, and took a pay cut no less.

I’ve talked about this concept of hate before when used in an improper context. For some people “hate” is a strong word, while for others it’s just the word they use because it’s expedient. Goodness, I use the word here and there because it just pops into my head when something irritates me so I’m not standing on any pedestal here.

However, I always try to have a reason for anything that I really hate. There are times when the reasons are flimsy, but they’re the reasons. Sports gives one great excuses to hate rivals of our favorite teams. I can say I hate the Celtics because they’re a rival of the Los Angeles Lakers, my favorite team. I can say I hate the Georgetown Hoyas basketball team because they’re a rival of my Syracuse Orange team. I can say I hate the Yankees, but everyone except Yankee fans hates the Yankees, so it doesn’t really mean anything.

On this blog I once wrote a post called I Hate Bullies, and I stand behind that hatred. Anyone who’s ever had to deal with a bully in their life probably carries this hatred around. I hate people that prey on others, physically or mentally. I hate companies that take advantage of both their customers and the people who work for them. I hate bugs. After that, I don’t really have a lot of consistent hate.

Showing hateful thoughts towards people for reasons that make no sense is illogical. I never hate anyone because someone else says they hate them. I rarely hate someone who made a mistake and did something bad. I rarely hate customer service people that can’t answer my questions because they didn’t make the error. True hate is one of those things that just sticks with you, that’s hard to shake, and it can color your judgment.

Reserve your real hate for those things that deserve it. If you do that, you’ll find that you’ll actually have a much more pleasant life because you’ll find that you really don’t hate all that many things. It’s a much better way to live.

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