Friday, November 18, 2011

Haters are the best lovers.

My wife is a self-proclaimed "hater." And I think it is worthwhile to develop an argument for why anti-social types with a small circle of friends are actually better than us extroverts.

I don't believe people who claim to love everyone. At the very least this means that having their love is meaningless because they give it away so cheaply. I'd rather be loved by someone who hates most people, because possessing their love is a more exclusive privilege. Being loved by a hater is more difficult, and the most valuable things in life are difficult to obtain; therefore, loved by a hater > loved by a lover.

Furthermore, love is exclusive, and as such it is violent. Fastening on one person causes me to ignore my obligation to every other person, and ignoring my obligation to other others is a hateful act. Every moment I spend with my brother I could be spending with my wife. And every moment I spend with my wife could be spent trying to help a refugee get a job. And every moment I spend doing that could be spent visiting with lonely people who I've never even bothered to talk to, ad infinitum. We have to draw a line somewhere and cut some people out. Those inside the line are those we choose to love, those on the outside are those we don't. I would rather be loved by some who cuts the line a little closer to home so that they have more time for me. But maybe that's because I'm selfish.

But I don’t think I’m alone. Haven't you ever felt guilty for spending time with one person, because you felt that you should also be spending that same time with another? Like on Thanksgiving when you want to go to be with your wife’s family, but you also want to go to be with your side of the family. If they happen to be celebrating at the same time, in vastly different geographic areas, you have to choose. And when you choose, it feels like a betrayal. You feel guilty even though all you’re doing is trying to show love to one group. But that love comes at the expense of another. Not only do we feel guilty, but this guilt is earned, because we put one group of people above another. Extending this logic to all of humanity, we have to choose who to love, and there are millions of people equally deserving of our love. Therefore, we have to commit a violent act and choose (seemingly at random) some people over others. But that is love. It is irreducible to anything else than a choice to elevate one individual to the point of singularity and say this is the One (or one of the Ones) that I will love.

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