318. Haters Gonna Hate

If there are people in your life who devote their time to, in a manner of speaking, “hating” on you, you can rest assured that they have their priorities in the wrong places.

But woe to you if you, in turn, spend your time obsessing over these people.

I spent most of my life ignorant of the thoughts of others, and I was happy. I had enough things to worry about on my own, thank you very much; I don’t need your worries adding to mine!

But then sometime in 2007 or so, someone convinced me that it was a good idea to hop onto Facebook. It was pretty cool. Then someone convinced me that it’s also a great idea to get onto Twitter. That was also pretty cool. I drew the line at Google Plus, though. There are places where men are not meant to tread.

(the ladies’ washroom, for example)

As my digital horizons expanded, I began to become painfully aware of a certain trend of, well, hating on haters. Everywhere I turned, there just seems to be no escape from some flavor of “forget the haters” or “haters gonna hate”. While I don’t discount the existence of these haters, I’m just wondering… Why give them the attention?

I mean, it’s not like anyone says “Politicians gonna politic” or “Teachers gonna teach” or “Dictators gonna dictate”.

More than that, many of the denizens of the internet appear to be convinced that someway, somehow, they have attracted themselves some haters. The typical response to this seems to be either “Don’t hate me for who I am” or “Haters are just jealous, so you must be doing something right”.

Which, again, I don’t understand. Are they really narcissistic enough to believe that there are people who would take time out of their lives to bring them down? To quote Eleanor Roosevelt: You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.”

(and let me tell how just how seldom: next to never. Unless you’re standing right in front of them, or they have a crush on you)

I think… We see in others what we see in ourselves. Like mirrors, y’know? The cynic would not believe that the optimist is as happy-go-lucky as she appears to be, and the plucky fellow would not believe that the bile-filled old crone is incapable of cracking a smile. The ones who criticize others the most are the ones most worried about being criticized by others.

And if you see haters everywhere you go? Man, do I have news for you…

Ultimately, when we cast our gaze upon the world, it’s ourselves we see being reflected back at us. And because of how the world so wickedly shows you what you want to see yet never gives you what you want to have, you’ll see in other people exactly what you’re looking for. If you expect to see misogyny, prejudice, and hate, that’s what you’ll see.

I, for one, prefer to look for goodness, kindness, and all things beautiful.

You can’t stop the hate. But you can spread the love.

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