Everyone talks about how they love this person, or that person, they talk about how easy it is to love. I agree. But no one talks about how easier it is to hate and how harder it is to keep loving.
The first person I remember hating was my primary school best friend. I loved her since we were in nursery school. Somehow, we had just grown to click. My jokes were a pleasure to her heart and her tears tore my soul. We loved each other.
But as we grew older, irritation started to creep in. The thing about hate is that it doesn’t appear in two horns and a pitchfork; it ebbs its way into our heart through a stream of tiny seemingly ignorable things.
I remember one day. I told Zainab(this my ex-best friend) that I thought her mom looked like the woman on Thomas Toni Street from who we used to buy fried yam on our way back home. I remember her stopping dead in her tracks and then saying vehemently, ‘What’s that? What’s that? Why are you bringing my mummy into this? Please don’t insult my mummy o. I can take anything but don’t insult my family, don’t even mention their name’
I was stunned to muteness. After I gained composure, I said, ‘But Zainab, I wasn’t insulting your mummy now. I was just saying that Mama Dundun looks like her. Mama Dundun is a person too now. She’s not a monkey or something. I did not insult your mommy’ She looked at me as if I was spewing rubbish and she just stormed off in the direction of her house.
The next day, I apologized to her and promised not to ever talk about her family again. She said she was sorry too, but she just didn’t want me comparing her mom to someone that sold food by the roadside and that, ‘do you know the cream my mommy uses for her body?’ I laughed but something inside me threw up.
From that day, I realize, I began to find little things about her extremely vain or unbearably irritating.
I began to notice that she chewed her food rather loudly.
I began to notice that she dragged her feet rather sluggishly.
I began to notice that her breath stank a little.
I began to notice that she wasn’t smart in class.
I began to notice that her jokes were indeed not funny.
I began to notice that she was loose with the boys.
I began to notice that she was not all that pretty.
I began to notice that she was just annoying…
Yes. You know, it was not bad that I noticed these things. What was bad was that I did not see them as the shortcomings of my friend which I must assist in correcting with love, I saw them instead as disgusting characteristics which grated my nerves and made her unfitting to be my friend.
I did not wake up one morning and declare my hate- I am not even sure I knew that I hated her. It just began to show out of the abundance of my heart.
That’s how easy it is to hate – you don’t need to do any deliberate action on your part, all you have to do is submit your mind to the devil and don’t restrain him when he shines false light on unimportant things.
That’s how to hate.