Bête Noire


Over the course of the past year, I’ve come to realise that I find it impossible to hate anybody. However, before I move on, here’s an admission. Yes, there are people who get on my nerves, and these same people usually get on the nerves of many others as well. Whether its due to the way they speak or act, or in some cases, a single one foul encounter, I end up limiting my interactions with these individuals. I detest conflict, in fact, I would rather play the running game than to clash heads with anyone. While some may see this as a form of weakness, I view my practice as a way to maintain my inner peace. Rather than needlessly infuriating myself by being in the presence of those that don’t quite float my boat, I keep my distance.

I dare not say, or rather, I can say with certainty, that I am not a universally well-liked person. Another thing I can say with certainty is that nobody is, or ever will be. Everyone has their anathema, and their anathemas have theirs as well. I can’t pinpoint when I started disliking these people, but the moment in which I struck them off my “black book”? That I can. Bearing hatred for someone is akin to carrying a cross. It weighs you down, suffocates you even, and worst of all? It prevents you from keeping your heart open. Repulsion from others only draws you closer to the ones you already love. Your relationship circle would become enclosed, for fear of meeting yet more bête noires. In short, you won’t ever be as open to new relationships as if you wash away your existing hatreds.

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”

I started off this post by claiming I find it impossible to hate anyone. Let me clarify. I have, and still do hate some people. What I meant by my rather bold statement is that I never bear hate for extended periods of time. For whenever I step into their shoes and see their lives from their point of view, the reasons behind every last one of their actions becomes crystal clear. I’ve learnt that there’s always a reason or a motive behind the way people act. Be it insecurity, fear or arrogance, their actions all play a part towards their battle to reach the ultimate goal that everyone seeks to find, happiness. Everyone wants happiness, but all of us have different paths towards finding this elusive treasure. Just because someone’s path doesn’t quite match up to mine is not a reason to hate them.

“In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough, then in that very moment I also love him. I think it’s impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves.”

I’ve edited this excerpt from Ender’s Game to better fit the context of my topic, but the essence of it remains the same. When I understand the reasons behind the way my “enemies” act, I begin to love them. Love them the way they love themselves. Fighting their own lonely battle as I am fighting mine. Every good book has a prologue, and every good person has theirs. Before judging them, I’m sure to read the vital first few pages of their lives. My perception of them thereafter hinges on this practice. Open your hearts, dear readers, and keep an open mind too. Read the full story, not just the pages you feel most strongly for.