“I Hate…”

We’re discussing a lot of things these days, aren’t we? There is so much to talk and to discuss about. Amidst such interactions the unexpected happens. You know like ideas and concepts for which you aren’t ready or about which you never gave even a few minutes’ thought somehow sneak their way in.

It was during one such discussion that someone brought the issue of the widening gap between the rich and the poor. Indeed it is a very touchy issue worthy of lots of discussions or debates whatever we call them. Of course, it would be close to wishful thinking to say that we’ve enough reliable data to base our arguments on. The lack of well thought out and well researched ideas and data is something that keeps us in the dark on numerous issues. Still we enter the game of arguments with the arsenal of thoughts we have or we think we have.

This guy who brought up the rich/poor gap issue didn’t kick off his arguments with data or any convincing points. He says, “Everybody hates the rich!” Wow! That as the first sentence to start discussions is way of the mark. I mean if anyone start their arguments with “I hate…” the sane thing to do would be to stop the clock running right there. Wherever the term “I hate…” is the focal point then you can be sure it’s already be five minutes to midnight.

Yes most of might be a bunch of haters. There might be a hundred and one things we hate on different levels. We hate groups, we hate individuals, we hate entire communities, we hate entire denominations, and we even hat countries about which we know little or nothing about; the list is endless. But it’d be fair to say that the common denominator is bias. Wherever hate is mentioned an integral part of any discussion or argument there sure would be bias, and lots of it too. Wherever hate is pushed in at the beginning or anywhere in a sentence logic and reason are pushed over the cliff.

Most of us probably to keep our social relations intact never publicly profess our hatred of one thing or another. In case we do so then it means we’re sure others are in the same boat with us. Still hearing someone express their hatred of something is not a particularly good experience. Especially if some guy uses the “everybody…” term and in a roundabout way makes you part of the haters the remaining part of your day which has been running smoothly into midafternoon would practically be over.

The pain in your guts at hearing such comments like, “Everybody hates the rich…” must feel what a sudden Tyson upper cut does to your entire anatomy; you know like seeing all the colors we know and the others waiting to be discovered. After his over the speed limit opening the guy adds, “We hate the rich.” If the full force of the comment hasn’t hit you yet, this is where it gets personal. The fellow sounds he was speaking for all of us; the ‘Attila the Hun’ marching us into a confrontation we weren’t ready for and about which we haven’t yet chosen sides. In short the guy was talking in our name, most of us must have been saying deep inside, “Not in my name!”

Let’s give the guy the benefit of the doubt and the first question that comes to our mind is from where in the world did he get such an idea? And also what prompted him to put all the rich in the same basket. Of course the cry “No! No! No! Keep us out!” still echoes; of course soundlessly. “Who the hell does he think he is to speak for us?”

Look I’m not singling out this guy for his comments, the fact is there surely would be others amongst us who hate the rich for no reason at all or for the simple reason of their being rich! Odd as it may sound there are souls who hate people just because they are rich while they never did them any wrong.

“Why do you hate that woman so much? The way you’re talking about her she must have messed your life in some ways. Has she done you some harm?”

“She hasn’t done me any wrong. Don’t tell me you like that ^&#*!”

“I don’t know the woman! How in the hell would I hate or like a woman I don’t know except that she lives in a niece-looking home! Anyway you didn’t answer my question.”

“She is rich and I hate rich people.”

“Why do you hate rich people?”

“You mean all rich people?”

“All of them.”

“But why?”

“They are the ones who made us poor.”

”Isn’t a little hard to prove.”

“The trouble with you people is that you daydream of the houses and the cars of the rich and you forget you’re dirt poor.” If you’re itching to say your “Goodbye!” this the right moment.

Of course, some would say except for the indiscriminate carpet-bombing of the rich the guy might have some truth. After all these days hearing what quite a number of the rich are supposedly doing with their money, you wonder if those people are indeed healthy minded. It’s as if they pluck the money from the trees rather than sweat for it! Again, of course we hear that there are ways and there’re WAYS where the millions flood in minus the ‘sweating’ which even the holy books tell us is the prerequisite for having our food! The conventional wisdom is that if you throw your money all over the place it means not much legitimate sweat has been put into earning it.

There are so many myths and tell tales about the rich that you wouldn’t know what to hold and what to let go. So many theories as to how people become overnight millionaires to you wouldn’t know what to hold and what to let go.

All said hatred for an entire community maybe because of the wrongs the few commit isn’t a very civilized way of societal living. By the way I have heard of some well to do persons who don’t want to lay their eyes on the very poor. There is this woman who chose to drive her car on the main roads even when there were shortcuts, shortcuts which could save gas and time, through villages not because she is against using shortcuts but she is personally against laying her eyes on the poor folk of the area.

Nothing takes negativity to its worst level than any comment which begins with “I hate…”

Ephrem Endale  Contributer

The Ethiopian Herald March 31/2024


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