How can people not see what their untrammelled hatred does to themselves and those around them? How can they give into it day after day so that it obscures both their very reason and destroys their lives?
I must forget my obsession with the science and philosophy of determinism and free will, and assume for the moment that we are indeed able to choose our behaviour if we wish and if we can see any necessity for so doing.
I must also admit I may not be in the ideal position to talk about such matters, since I have no reason to feel hatred and I don’t think I ever have. At least for more than a few fleeting moments.
I am what the Americans would call a “WASP” – a white anglo saxon protestant. The Brits would classify me as a typical upper middle class Londoner, well enough off and lucky enough in the genetic lottery of birth.
So I may not be ideally qualified to understand corrosive, obsessive hatred. I have never suffered torture or political oppression, never had my extremities removed by the steel arms of a vicious and backward desert theocracy. Isis has never reached my pleasant ivory tower and Idi Amin has never eaten my relatives.
But in my own, generally calm and privileged environment, I have nonetheless seen what damage hatred can cause. And indeed money is no cure for despair or misery – as we have seen in the unhappy recent history of our Royal Family.
There is a particular woman I know who has gone overboard in recent years; she has destroyed her life and her family by hatred and yet as is so often the way, she insists it is others who have wronged her and will accept none of the blame. Nor will she change or even see the need to change.
For her own sake if only she would heed the words so often spoken to her in kindness by all and sundry including counsellors, family and paid advisors she could transform a very hell into a veritable heaven.
She is the maker of her own prison, she has built the very walls which have trapped and enslaved her. She is the wife of an exceptionally wealthy banker; they live in luxury in London and in thousands of rolling acres in the countryside. Their children have been well educated at the finest public schools and the family is surrounded by staff and lackeys to cater to their every whim. No doubt like prince Charles, they could, if they so chose, have a maid put toothpaste on their toothbrushes and another maid run their bath.
The husband has unfortunately never been faithful and many are his “conquests”. Filipino maids, girlfriends in every port, county wives of the great and the good in their beautiful English shire. It’s all rather Edwardian really. Or I think the french still live like that, don’t they? A pampered wife wanting for no material comfort and a philandering husband who plunders and swashbuckles as he chooses.
Well women have a choice. Many choose to let their husband out on a long rein. It appears that marriages can work in that way. Edward VII’s Mrs Keppel and a stream of others were tolerated by a long suffering Princess Alexandra of Denmark.
If you refuse to tolerate such misbehaviour or you can not, then separate. Live your own life, start again, take up a career or a new one, re-marry, have some fun, travel.
Few are lucky enough to have your resources!
But please, do not chose the route of hatred and bitterness. Do not drive your own children away from you by your temper and your anger. Do not split your family and blame your siblings. Accept help, go to counseling but listen to what your counselors tell you. Do not throw their well meant help back at them. Do not assume everyone around you means you harm and ill. That everyone is threatening you and trying to swindle you.
There comes a time when however close you once were, your friends and family have to back away for their own health, happiness and sanity. They can not enter a reality they know is yours and of your making. A solipsistic nightmare.