Donald Trump: 23,100
Fox News: 20,100
Rand Paul: 12,900
Hillary Clinton: 8,640
Willfull Ignorance: 4,480
Losing Money: 4,070
Ben Carson: 3,370
Bernie Sanders: 2,370
Adolf Hitler: 2,150
Ted Cruz: 2,170
Chris Christie: 2,130
Jeb Bush: 1,660
Carly Fiorina: 692
Marco Rubio: 412
John Kasich: 338
Martin O’Malley: 65
Yup. This might be the article, if you want to call it that, which finally gets me some hate-filled comments. You see, I believe now more than ever in the power not just of our thoughts but also of our words, given that our words impact our thinking and vice-versa. There are a few words in particular we loosely throw around way way WAY too much in all walks of life.
1) Hate; 2) Idiot; 3) Disagree.
Arguably, “hate” is the most overused and damaging of all of them.
Now let’s talk about this list. The numbers above are an extremely unscientific series of Google queries, “I hate XXX,” with each of the preceding terms inserted instead of XXX. In addition to inserting most of our presidential candidates, I considered some of the most incendiary topics- and in almost all cases they’re incendiary for no good reason at all (!) – I could conjure up. I used quote marks for each search term to ensure the specific phrases were included in the results.
To all you seething analytics geeks out there, I don’t think there are any meaningful conclusions one can derive from these non-findings. At least I sure as hell hope there aren’t any, except for one. A lot of people are searching for hate-based topics.
Here is one of many flaws. Do we really think the hatred for Donald Trump is more than 10 times more pronounced than it is for Adolf Hitler, or are these search results compromised by a recency bias? In other words, how much is Adolf Hitler a theme in our current everyday thoughts and conversations versus Mr. Trump? Perhaps this is why legions of people, including myself, say “Never forget” in relation to one of the darkest moments of modern humanity.
An additional flaw is the “buzz factor” or lack thereof that sparks one to conduct a search query in the first place. To be blunt, and I mean no disrespect, Martin O’Malley probably wishes more people hated him, for if this were the case they would actually be thinking of him.
Yet still, my overall question is: Do we incite more hatred in politics, in our workplace, in our neighborhoods, in every day life, and most importantly in our own thoughts and minds by using the term “hate” as loosely and frequently as we do? Let’s not forget that while we cannot draw meaningful inferences by looking across these results, it’s pretty clear real ‘live’ human beings conducted these search terms, all of which used the word “hate.”
Therefore, I’m happy to inform you my mother was right all along in barking at me as a kid every time I said the word “hate.” I wonder if we should we impose upon ourselves a temporary “Don’t Say Hate” policy? I think so, because as powerful as words are they lose their potency if not used with discretion. If we lather “hate” on top of so many topics, then what word do we use during those rare instances where we may want to express complete disgust and disdain?
Last week I wrote about addiction and shed a bit of my personal light on alcohol addiction. Just as through overuse I can increase my alcohol tolerance to a level where gulping down a bottle of red wine is like what sucking down a few beers may have been in an earlier era, I can just as easily and habitually pepper my language and mindset with too much hating. And so can you. All it does is bring us down. As my wife says, hate carries so much negative energy. Therefore, why not pay much more attention to the use of the term. In her words, “Where do you go with something when you hate it? There is no path forward.”
We are now well into January and New Year’s Resolutions are so last week. Well, how about if we embark on a Seven Day “No Saying Hate” Cleanse we can begin right now? You are not allowed to say or even THINK the word “hate” for seven days. Yes, this includes those many seemingly lighthearted, “Oh I hate that” comments.
For me, this seven day exercise should be pretty easy. While I can be an abrasive mofo, my mother trained me well. In fact, the only things I ever express hatred for are interspersed in the list.
Violence. Racism. Cruelty. Willfull ignorance.
As for Hitler, he sparks more than hatred inside of me. It’s an at times all-encompassing and anxiety producing fear and lack of comprehension how in our very recent past such a despot could have persuaded so many to commit such an unthinkable evil that destroyed an absolutely mind-boggling shit ton of human lives. This doesn’t even take into account the multiple additional barbaric ethnic cleansing incidents around the world since World War II – all because of humans numbing themselves with too much hatred.