We shouldn’t hate; hatred is such an ugly thing. Poisons your mind and body. Don’t hate, forgive. Then, no matter how fucked up and screwed over you are, at least you can enjoy your moral superiority. It’s much better to feel good about yourself than feel bad about others, the reasoning goes. At least if you’re a Christian.

I’ve done my share of hating. Even as a child I wasn’t sold on the ideas that the preachers preached (and never applied to their own lives, but that’s another story). Consequently, I lost the knack for being sanctimonious too early to get fixated on the apparent virtue of forgiveness. And yet, curiously, these days I no longer hate people, even those who try their best to be hateworthy. It might be that I’ve become more understanding of the faults of others because now I understand better where my own faults come from.

Hatred is still my daily companion, though. I hate the circumstances beyond my control that put me in situations that I don’t want to be in but can’t afford to get out of. That kind of hatred has taken me far; I can hardly believe how far when I glance over my shoulder at the things that I’ve managed to leave behind.

When I collapse by the side of the road, exhausted by wrestling with the circumstances, that hatred grabs me by the hair, drags me up and shoves me forward. Off I go.

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