Hate doesn’t fuel, it drains

The other night I went to the movies with my brother to see Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. I know, I’m about two months late on seeing it. I was a huge fan of the first one and couldn’t wait for the second. It’s just a shame James Franco wasn’t in this one.

Now when you go to see a movie like Planet of the Apes you don’t really expect to have an ah-ha moment. I just expect to be entertained with talking apes and cool special effects. Instead I sat there with my face scrunched and even had some tears in my eyes at some points. Yeah, it’s kind of embarrassing. Deal with it.

If you haven’t seen the movie, spoiler alert. The main ape Caesar is betrayed by one of his buddies named Koba. Koba sees how much Caesar cares for the humans. He’s willing to listen and give them a chance whereas Koba just flat out hates them because of what they did to him. When Caesar explains he is going to allow the humans to do some “human work” so they can survive, Koba points to his multiple scars and says “human work.”

As much as I want to condemn Koba off the bat, I feel for him. It’s hard to give someone who’s hurt you a second chance.

We’ve all been hurt in some capacity – some more than others. Hurt is still hurt, though. Once the damage has been done it’s hard to let go. It feels good to feel hatred. It feels good to want to get revenge. If someone has hurt us then they need to make it up to us. How dare they think they can get off free.

Then came the point in the movie when Koba’s hatred went too far. He acted prematurely and killed three humans, shot Caesar and attacked the colony of people in the city. Koba orders the apes to kill and capture the humans. Koba’s hatred had gotten the best of him.

He was blinded by his own hatred and unwillingness to forgive. He wanted to hold onto the loathing. He wanted to get revenge because it felt good.

By the end of the movie, you get to the point where you are begging Caesar to just finish him off. Koba was so far gone.

Have you ever felt Koba’s pain? Obviously you haven’t been experimented on in a lab, but maybe you’ve been deeply hurt by someone. Maybe it was a family member, a friend or someone you don’t even know that well. You hold onto the anger because you think it gives you power over them.

There have been some people in my life who have repeatedly given me cause to hate them – to hold onto anger. They treated me poorly, ruined my reputation, ripped apart my friendships, played with my heart and acted as an enemy even though they called themselves a friend. I held onto my anger for years because I thought that was what they deserved, but they had no idea how much they hurt me. They were carrying on with their lives.

That’s when I learned hate gives the other person power over you. Not the other way around.

Look at Koba as a prime example. He thought he was destroying the humans with his anger, but he was really destroying himself. Because he refused to forgive, his hatred took over him.

No one is as damaged by your anger and hatred as much as you are.

Hurt is not something that defines us. The way we respond is what defines us.

Don’t forget the hurt you’ve experienced in your life. If someone has hurt you, talk it over with them and work at getting through it. I’m not saying forget what happened. God didn’t tell us to do that.

He told us to forgive.

It’s not easy to do so, but no one ever said it was. I’m still trying to forgive some people in my life because for some people in my life it’s not a onetime thing. It’s something I have to do daily or weekly.

Don’t do it so they can carry on with their lives. Do it so you can carry on with yours. It’s not for them; it’s for you.

Photo credit: Kevin Dooley

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