Hate is too great a burden to bear.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
My friend reminded me of this quote and it got me thinking. From an evolutionary standpoint, love is useful. Love ensures that a community grows and protects its weakest members. But what purpose does hate serve?
Hate destroys societies as well as the person who nurtures it. As King puts it, it’s a burden and one he chose not to carry.
I wonder if scientists have ever studied the source of hate, and why it’s so incredibly destructive? Science fiction writers, there’s a story idea if ever there was one.
William Blake said it best, in one of my favorite poems. This poem always makes me shudder.
The Poison Tree
I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe;
I told it not, my wrath did grow.
And I water’d it in fears,
Night & morning with my tears;
And I sunned it with my smiles
And with soft deceitful wiles.
And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright;
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine,
And into my garden stole
When the night had veil’d the pole:
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretch’d beneath the tree