Just as no one is born to believe in a particular religion, no one is born to hate. My parents did not teach me to hate, and I did not learn to hate in school. Hate is used a weapon by weak people or to manipulate weak people.
My father was born in the South and visits to relatives revealed a world of racial prejudice. I never heard my father use the word nigger, and he treated black employees just like white employees. My grandmother, who was from New Hampshire, was a bigot, but my parents denigrated this trait. They taught me to be non-prejudicial.
I do not love all fellow men, but I do not hate without reason. People are basically stupid and weak, and that is what causes all the world’s problems.
I do not hate people. It seems like a wasted emotion, because nothing good comes from it--for the hater or the hated. Perhaps, I have been lucky not to be driven to feel the need.
The Army attempted to convince me to hate the North Vietnamese people, but I did not. The reason could be that none harmed me personally, and I never faced one in combat. Although having been shot at, I never looked one in the eye and had to act. Survival instinct would have driven my reaction, not hate. War felt like a game, but I never endured bodily harm, as I had in competitive sport. We had fierce rivalries, but I did not hate them: I merely wanted to win the game.
If I think about it, I could be driven to hate someone--and take revenge--if he or she harmed a loved one. Like in war, in life I have been lucky...
I do not hate people: I hate things.
Today, as with many days, I was reminded of how much I hate modern packaging. I realized that most food packaging, which is becoming increasing difficult to open, is not designed to protect consumers: it is designed to protect manufacturers from lawsuit. I would be willing to accept the minuscule risk of someone tampering with a package, and my even smaller risk of grabbing that package, if it meant easier access to the contents. Many food and medicine packages have more than one level of defense, making the experiences multi-frustrating. I have even refused to buy certain products a second time, because the packaging was so idiotic.
The pleasure of patronizing a butcher, baker, green grocer, etc. is enhanced by the lack of plastic and other defense mechanisms. It would be nice if the old-fashioned milkman would return...
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.