“See no evil. Hear no evil. Speak no evil.”
My grandfather had a liking for the above, popular phrase and used to say the following in regards to it:
“Laura, you can’t help seeing and hearing evil all of the time, but you can always stop yourself from speaking evil.” – George J. Paulus
His wise words echo in my mind often and give me pause for thought. Here I feel the word evil can be used to describe a hateful occurrence or act.
It is impossible to shelter ourselves from those who do or say evil. We are also human and fallible by nature. This means that we will partake in evil doings, whether they be spoken or acted out, during our lives—and probably quite often, if we are downright honest about it.
So what is the trick to being a good person even though we falter at times?
I believe that if our intent is good, or if we feel remorse and apologize when we act poorly even with intent, that we are doing our best to live mindful and kind lives.
Everyone makes mistakes and we can hopefully learn from them and move on once we have made our amends to people we have hurt or even to ourselves. This is often harder said than done.
Sometimes others do not want to forgive and worse—there are times when we can’t forgive ourselves. But really, holding onto hate for others or ourselves is not of any benefit to anyone.
The following 13 quotes on hate have opened my eyes a little wider to the concepts of understanding and forgiveness:
“The tongue like a sharp knife… Kills without drawing blood.” ~ Buddha
“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
“I think that hate is a feeling that can only exist where there is no understanding.” ~ Tennessee Williams, Sweet Bird of Youth
“Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.” ~ Maya Angelou
“You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.” ~ Buddha
“It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve; and bad things are very easy to get.” ~ Confucius
“Sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whisky bottle in the hand of (another)… There are just some kind of men who – who’re so busy worrying about the next world they’ve never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results.” ~ Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
“Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad. Let God deal with the things they do, cause hate in your heart will consume you too.” ~ Will Smith
“I love you, and because I love you, I would sooner have you hate me for telling you the truth than adore me for telling you lies.” ~ Pietro Arentino
“Remember, always give your best. Never get discouraged. Never be petty. Always remember, others may hate you. But those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself.” – Richard M. Nixon
“Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.” – Sydney J. Harris
“I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.” – James A. Baldwin
“Try to understand men. If you understand each other you will be kind to each other. Knowing a man well never leads to hate and almost always leads to love.” – John Steinbeck
“I hate flowers —I paint them because they’re cheaper than models and they don’t move.” – Georgia O’Keeffe
This last quote was just for fun, but then it also made me think about the word hate, itself.
Hate is a strong word and I personally don’t like using it. I will say instead that I dislike something or that it is not my taste or my thing. Further, I think that the word hate is used in the worst way when describing other people.
If we could eliminate this word from our vocabularies, the world would surely be a kinder and more loving place.
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Editor: Renée Picard
Photos: Courtesy of Deanna Dement Myers