Don’t be a hater. Practice Love or Charity instead…
There’s this interesting scene from the movie Ideocracy. Joe is a soldier, who is enlisted in an experiment to have his body frozen and be woken up one year later. Something goes wrong and instead Joe wakes up thousands of years in the future.
Unfortunately, America has actually de-evolved as a civilisation. IQ levels have dropped and America is a mess – both economically and culturally. Everything is in a state of decline and deterioration, yet strangely enough, society still functions, albeit somewhat abnormally. One example of this dystopian society, is that the most popular show on TV is called ‘Oh My Balls!’, which is basically a show about a man getting hit in the genitals in various comical ways. Joe wanders confused through the streets and the narrator says this:
“Unaware of what year it was, Joe wandered the streets desperate for help. But the English language had detonated into a hybrid of hillbilly, valleygirl, inner city slang and various grunts. Joe was able to understand them, but when he spoke in an ordinary voice, he sounded pompous and faggy to them.”
I’d imagine that in this kind of world, everything would have to be rewritten so that people could understand it more easily.
For example, the Bible could survive but it would have to be dumbed down. Like this quote, when Jesus stops the mob from stoning a woman for the crime of adultery:
“He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”
Might have to be rewritten as:
“Yo bro’s. Listen. Anyone here that ain’t a douchebag, Let him be the first to hate her”
Rewriting classical texts
Sure it sounds like a joke, but isn’t it already happening albeit at a slower pace? The King James version of the Bible has been replaced with the New International Version. It’s a lot easier to read, but some of the nuances are different. I have an extremely limited understanding of the bible, but, here is an example, of what I’m talking about in this very famous quote from Corinthians:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.”
And then the King James version:
“Charity suffereth long, and is kind, charity envieth not, charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth. Doth not behave itself unseemly, seekers not her own, is not easily provoked, thinkers no evil; Rejoicest not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail: whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away”
At first impression, charity has less impact than the word “love”. But its actually far more relevant. I read one commentary by a Bible scholar (can’t remember who) who wrote that the word charity refers simply to a ‘Christian love of one’s fellow’. Perhaps the word ‘Love’ is too misused and though it sounds better, is not really clear. Love can be too general a word. What does it really mean? Yet I feel that the word ‘charity’ as referring to ‘brotherly (or sisterly) love of a fellow person clicks more with me.
Both are good at spreading a message of peace
Personally, I first heard the New international version of this quote with the word “love” and I think that is a great version, which is simple and easy to understand. It helped me access the Bible. It was only when I wanted to take my understanding of this verse deeper, that I looked into the King James version.
But how to apply this to my life? How to learn how not to ‘envy’ or ‘vaunt’ myself or ‘puff up’ with pride or to speak in ‘tongues’ about my fellow man and woman.
I like the Kanye West song -‘Stronger”. In it, there’s this line –
New Gospel homey, take six and take this, haters.
Now, that don’t kill me, can only make me stronger.
Kanye West has a lot of ‘haters’. And his wife too. It’s part of the price they pay for their fame and also the way they present themselves. “Hater” is a colloquial slang term for negative people who criticise and put others down. It’s a great phrase.
It is easy to judge other people. There’s always going to be someone to criticise. You may read in the newspaper something bad about a group of people. Or you hear some gossip about someone from work and get pulled into saying something about that person. Perhaps you watch the X-factor and feel that overwhelming urge to say something critical about it all. But then, maybe we should admire some of these people for putting themselves out there and chasing their dreams? How many of us simply sit on the byelines criticising, while others put themselves forward even though they face negative comments. It takes guts to do so.
But, it is so easy to criticise. “Oh look at that person or those people. They should just do this – ” or “I can’t believe they did that -” It’s a kind of habit you get into and its addictive. But doing it, doesn’t make you a better person.
I used to do the same. I might read the Daily Mail online and then feel negatively about something or someone and indulge those thoughts. It could be triggered from watching a few moments of some reality TV show, where I would want to criticise the performers. Or, I might hear some gossip about some people, I know are undergoing a difficult time – usually a relationship issue, and deep down, I might feel some small satisfaction. So inside me, there is a ‘hater’. I acknowledge that truthfully. Perhaps the hater is in many of us.
I think we find pleasure in other peoples suffering. But I think the reason is because, I know that I’m a bit of a F**** up in life, and so, when I see or hear of other people like this, it makes me feel maybe – I’m ok really. Other people are F**** ups too.
I don’t want to be a hater anymore
But I really want to be better than this. I want to stop criticising or complaining anymore. They are simply just habits, but I feel these habits are drawn from some source of anger or frustration deep down. It is also the reason, why a few years ago, I became a Christian for the first time and got baptised as an adult. I realised that I had a lot of anger in me and wanted to let it go because I could see that it was harmful.
I can’t say that Christianity has helped me release anything. I’m not particularly good at being one and well, there’s still something of an ‘akuma’ (devil) in me. But, it has been a part of my own healing journey and I am getting better at letting go of being a ‘hater’.
Letting go of being a hater
Slowly, I am starting to learn to let go of my ‘hater’ attitude and also to be less judgemental of others. It’s an ongoing process, and just to encourage myself here is a quote from the sayings of Jesus in the ‘New-New International – John Version’: (as inspired by Ideocracy)
“You’ve heard those sayings: – . If someone pokes your eye out, you poke out theirs. If someone kicks your teeth in, you kick in theirs. Well, that’s just being a scro’.
Don’t be a scro’, be a bro. If someone hates on your ass and slaps the right cheek, then just show them the left cheek, and tell them to kiss it.
Or perhaps you prefer the original:
“You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” But I say to you, do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”