Hate me.

Hate me.

Hate me because I hurt you. Directly. Intentionally. Good reasons to hate me:

  • I punched you in the gut for no apparent reason
  • I personally insulted your mother
  • I said to your face, “I hate you”
  • I betrayed our friendship
  • I irrationally lashed out at you
  • I embarrassed you in front of your peers
  • I hurt your feelings

But if you’re going to hate me, it better be personal. It better be because you know me.

Don’t hate me because:

  • I’m a man
  • I’m “white”
  • I’m Jewish
  • I belong to a certain social strata
  • I’m a democratic socialist
  • I like the Beatles more than the Rolling Stones
  • I believe in equality
  • I believe in a woman’s right to choose
  • I have independent thoughts that are different than yours
  • I have political views which are different than yours
  • I believe LGBTQ people should have the same rights as everyone else
  • I think racial discrimination continues to be rampant in our society and must be addressed
  • I express my political views
  • I voice my concern about the direction of society

More simply, don’t hate me because:

  • I am
  • I think
  • I believe
  • I like
  • I express

I do those things because I’m a human being. That’s what human beings do. By existing, thinking, believing, enjoying, expressing, I’m sharing with you who I am and what I’m about. In other words, I’m trying to let you in on me. If we get close enough together, I then might actually hurt you directly, at which time, you can hate me.

But instead of hating me, I’d really prefer you try to understand me. And give me the opportunity to understand you. That includes those times I might directly hurt you. And if you point out the hurt I’ve caused, allow me to apologize—not to make excuses for my actions, but rather to acknowledge the hurt I’ve caused you and the remorse I feel at causing that hurt.

But if you absolutely must hate me, please make sure you’re hating me and not some straw man you’ve created in your own head. Otherwise, it’s not really hate at all.

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