Barriers to Forgiveness, Part 2: Hatred
“A little hatred goes a long, long way. It grows and grows. And it’s hungry. You keep feeding it more and more people, and the more it gets, the more it wants. It’s never satisfied. And pretty soon it squeezes all the love out of your heart and all you’ll have left is a hateful heart.” –Jerry Spinelli in Love, Stargirl
In other words, hatred is an insatiable monster that demands its supposed due. When people hate, they can all too easily create the rationalization that the other deserves bad things, deserves to be punished…..and by the one who hates.
Hatred clouds the mind as it freezes the heart. And it does so slowly enough that the one now with the clouds and freezings was not even aware of this progression from a sunny mind and a warm heart. Yet, it can happen. Scrooge in A Christmas Carol; the final scene in Dr. Seuss’ The Butter Battle Book; the list is long.
Eventually, hatred becomes self-righteous; the person believes deep within the self that the hatred is not only justified but also moral. It becomes a quest and even a way of life…….until it turns on the one with the self-righteousness and the sense of the moral quest…..and destroys him.
With hatred, forgiveness is not allowed to grow. With courage, a person can begin to see hatred within and stand against it, giving forgiveness a chance to grow and to redeem and to lighten and to unthaw.