These have to be the worst words and the worst phrase that one can use against another.

I have been called names before, several times, and not always in jest. But none of them hurt like when a person tells you that they hate you. Likewise, I can think of no worse thing to say to someone than that you hate them.

As we can see in our world today, hate can be a filthy, dangerous and anti-productive feeling. Really, even in times of war, hate accomplishes absolutely nothing. There is no good that can come from you telling someone this, or them saying it to you.

Many years ago, when I was very young, I recall a teacher telling me something that stay with me to this day. I had yelled at another student and told him that I hated him, but she took me aside and explained how hurtful those words could be. Granted, this was in fourth grade, and most children just do not comprehend the power of words at that age, but her comments stayed with me, regardless.

It would not be until several years later, when I used those very words for the sole purpose of hurting someone that I learned their true power. I had told my mother, at the ripe old age of 14, that I hated her. Then later that evening, I saw the effect that this had on her.

After that time, I never said that to her or anyone else again. You will not hear me say that I hate someone anymore. Yes, I still do use the word “hate”, but these days it is in relation to more innocuous things. I hate the arthritis that is making my knee hurt, I hate my allergies, I hate these oppressive taxes, etc… These are all things that I know will not be emotionally affected by my hatred of them.

To these things, you can express your hatred all you want, with no repercussions. There are no feelings to hurt, no egos to bruise. The most that will happen and this is if you REALLY hate that inanimate object you are cursing, is that you will tire and run out of breath.

Too often people hate one another for something like their religion, or skin color, or sexual orientation, or many other things that I could list. But who does that hatred help? What does telling them that you hate them accomplish except maybe causing them pain?

All this being said does not mean that there are not people out there that deserve to be hated. There are many, many truly “hate-worthy” people on this planet. But then the question comes up, is it really worth your time and effort to express the energy to hate them? Are they really worth that much of your attention? More importantly, do they CARE if you hate them?

More often than not, the answer to these questions will be no, and by doing so you are actually giving them more attention than they deserve or need.

There is already too much hate in the world. Try to do like I was taught. The next time you see a person and feel compelled to say you hate them, even if it is only to yourself and under your breath, replace “Hate” with “dislike”.