No stupid, dumb, or hate.

I once heard about a classroom that had the rule you couldn’t say these words.  I love that rule, because quite frankly, hate breeds hate.

For each of us, everything in this world falls into three categories:

  • Things you love
  • Things you hate
  • Things you are indifferent about

Don’t get mixed up in the wording.  Go ahead and insert “strongly dislike” if you are bothered by the word hate.  Essentially though, we all feel some degree of one of those ways about everything (people, things, ideas, etc…), even hate.  And that is perfectly normal.  I’m not suggesting we push away our feelings of “strong dislike” for something.

However, I AM suggesting that we keep it to ourselves.  

From Facebook posts to conversations, there is so much energy today devoted to the things we all can’t stand, and I have to admit that I contribute more than I would like.

Here’s the problem.  It’s impossible to get to know each other this way.  I can’t get to know you by learning about what you hate or what you are indifferent about.  That’s how I get to know what you are NOT.  The only thing I can conclude for certain is that you hate stuff.

I can only get to know who you are and understand you by getting to know what you love.

Have you ever played the game, “Where should we eat lunch?”  Usually, someone is the veto and someone is the suggestion box.  It’s easy when you are the veto.  She suggests Thai food.  You say no.  She suggests Mexican.  You say no.  Thinking about what you DON’T want is easy; all you have to do is react.  Suggestion box learns nothing about what veto is in the mood for, but veto learns all about what suggestion box wants to eat.  Obviously, the more challenging role is to be the suggestion box.  However, it is also the more creative, open, and proactive one.

Getting back to what we “hate”, I could tell you that I dislike your anger or your grouchy frown.  But isn’t it more effective to tell you that I love the way you smile and light up when you talk about things that get you excited and make you happy?  You may have very strong negative feelings about something or someone, but what feels better?  Talking about the negatives or talking about the things and people you love and the causes you support?

So, I urge you.  The next time you feel the heat of dislike taking over, please don’t tell me what you hate.

  • Tell me what you love.
  • Tell me what is important to you.
  • Tell me what you stand for.

Let me get to know you and understand you for who you are.  Not who you are not.

If you feel trapped in the cycle of stupid, dumb, hate, let’s get you out!