Hate Is a Pointless Emotion


Conrad Veidt, Favorite Quote Friday

If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is a part of yourself. What isn’t part of ourselves doesn’t disturb us.

~Hermann Hesse

Welcome to another edition of Favorite Quote Friday, everyone.  I know, I was supposed to get rid of this weekly post and give it its own blog, but I’ve changed my mind.  I decided to keep it and change the picture I use for it. (Which is of my German flavor of the month Conrad Veidt, by the way.)

Today’s quote comes from another German, Hermann Hesse, who, like Veidt, was married to a Jewish woman and fiercely opposed the Nazis.

Do you agree with what he said?  Do you think that if you hate another person, then there must be something inside yourself that is loathsome?

What he said makes sense.  Hate is a pointless emotion.  It does not change anything in a situation, or life in general. All it does is cause misery and destruction.  The Nazis hated Jews, Occultists, Socialists, and everyone else they deemed a political suspect.  All that hate and cold-blooded murder accomplished nothing.

They hated people for who they were and what they looked like.  Hitler wanted people to believe that the more than six million Jews he murdered were inferior to the rest of the human race in some way.  However, the Jews have shown the world again and again what geniuses they are in every field imaginable.  Is there anything they cannot do?  That does not smack of inferiority to me.

The real issue is what Hesse was talking about when he said that our hatred for others stemmed from something inside ourselves:  Hitler hated the Jews’ supposed inferiority, but even tiny amount of research will show that there is no inferiority.  The problem was that Hitler was ashamed of his own inferiority.  He failed as a military leader, an artist, and most everything else he set out to do, so instead of just accepting the fact that he was a loser, he went on a genocidal rampage.

Hate is destructive and ugly.  It does nothing but stop progress and make us look like jerks.

Instead of focusing on the people and things we hate, we should instead focus on the people and things we love.  Passion can move mountains.  It can build cities, cure diseases, and invent any number of things that help move society forward.

So if you are wasting your time hating another person, it is not too late to stop.  The hatred you feel is not worth all the stress, ulcers, and wrinkles you are giving yourself…is it?

Leave a comment

8 Comments

  1. I have respected Hesse for a long time in the same way I respect other great thinkers. He was of course correct; the stronger the hate, the more pitiful, more insecure, the hater is. Over and above all Hitler was a madman, in the same way Stalian was, and sadly many others. Unfortunately their brand of madness had one particular feature developed to fantastic level; ability to mobilize masses.

    Reply
    • And those creatures had this innate ability to pounce on people who were at their most vulnerable points in life. They knew exactly what to say and how to get people fired up.

      Reply
  2. I absolutely agree with this post and love it’s sincerity. We don’t have time for what is not a part of ourselves- so true :)

    Reply
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