The response to this question about hate was so transformational to me that I clipped it from a magazine and carried it in my wallet for years. Although the question was posed about a relationship with one’s mother, I believe the response by Marilyn Vos Savant rings true for all things, such as cancer, Covid-19, natural disasters or any type of calamity.
Question: Although I know that hate can eat you up and diminish your spirit, it’s OK to hate Hitler and things like poverty. Can I also hate my mother without damaging myself?
H. T., Harmony , CA.
Answer: I believe that it is not OK to hate Hitler, poverty, or anything else. Hate is such an ugly emotion that it degrades the hater. It also causes bad thinking and physical illness. It is far better to see a wrong and be inspired by the love of mankind- a beautiful emotion- to try to right it. Hatred causes destruction; love causes construction. While you need not love your mother, don’t allow yourself to hate her either.
-Marilyn Vos Savant. Nov 10, 2002. Parade Magazine.
Marilyn Vos Savant. Photo from 1986. Parade Magazine.