I seem to be missing a major emotional component. Everyone else seems to be able to hate for the smallest reason, and I'm starting to feel left out.

Whole countries in Europe can ignite killing anger at the drop of a hat. The Indians and the Pakistanis are riding the rocket of hatred right into an arms race that's demonstrably counterproductive to the populace of nations involved in it. Americans, those enlightened global peace keepers, murder each other in the name of race, religion, or address with savage abandon.

Somehow I miss blind hatred's lure. Violence is easier to decode. I understand the thirst for freedom. I understand personal vengeance. I understand the need for justice. I understand the need for self-defense.

What I don't understand is how one human can hate another human who has never touched their life in any way enough to kill. People do many things I don't understand, and I usually ignore them. In this case, maybe I'm missing out.

Other activities that are popular across so many cultures are also, in my experience, huge fun. Take sex, food, and drinking as examples: they're all a blast. Of course, they all get better with practice, but the very first time is generally good enough to signal good times ahead.

Alas, I don't know how a heaping gulp of malice might taste; I'm stuck with a defective hate gene. Sure, I loathe the Dallas Cowboys and their fans, but enough to kill? My Mom was a Cowboy fan; anyone can miss the true path.

Probably the closest I come to such abandon is the people who practice blind hatred themselves. Jealousy, I suppose. But even here, my wrath centers fail me. I pity them, mostly. Unless their unreasoning ire has damaged others, in which case I want them to taste the justice that they've denied others. But it's the justice I want, not the pain.

I don't know how it is that I've gotten this far in life with a defective prejudice mechanism. I blame my parents.

This page written and maintained by Ted Faber (faber@lunabase.org).
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