I shall never allow myself to stoop so low as to hate any man. – Booker T. Washington
What does that mean?
This is something he said a lot. It has been recorded in slight variants, including substituting ‘permit’ for ‘allow’ as well as “I shall allow no man to belittle my soul by making me hate him.”
The question the quote implies is how low would you go? Will you allow someone to entice you to stoop to the level of hating them? Or would you resist and love them (or at least ignore them) instead?
The author of this quote states that he wouldn’t allow himself to ever stoop so low as to hate the other person. That is a very powerful and absolute statement, isn’t it? Could you make such a statement?
We all have the choice of how we will react to others. Even if the other person is a jerk and tries to provoke us, we still are the ones who control our actions and our emotions.
Why is choosing to take the high road important?
We have a choice in these situations. We can let them get to us, and to get us to lower ourselves and our standards. We can also choose to take the high road and not engage in hatred. But we have to remember that the high road, like the low road, is a choice.
If we can hold firmly to the belief that we have both the will and the ability to refuse to hate, we can more easily ignore those who try to provoke us. After all, that is what they are trying to do, and we have the choice to do as they desire, or to ignore them.
If we don’t choose the high road, then we risk drifting lower and lower. Eventually, if we don’t make a firm decision to resist, we will eventually drift all the way down to their level. And that is what the quote is about, not stooping to the level of hatred for another human. It can be a tough choice, but a worthy one.
Where can I apply this in my life?
Personally, I would apply it to any and every place where haters try to bring you down to their level. Personally, given my size and look, I don’t get much of that anymore. Also at my age, I’m too young to beat up, and too old to fall for that playground taunting.
However, not everyone is in such a secure place. I ask them to consider how your dignity is better served. Is it better to allow their childish words to sting your ears, but go no farther? Or is it better to let their words go all the way into your heart, and fill it with anger and hate?
I would also ask which shows more strength, ignoring their taunts and provocations, or to sink to their level, to go as low as they are and respond in kind? Like the prior question, the answer should be fairly obvious, and I hope you agree with the quote in both of your answers.
It will not be easy at first, especially if you’re more a fighter than a lover. You will try, and you will have a few setbacks along the way. But you can improve your attitude and your ability to deal with the haters and keep your cool, your dignity, and your humanity.
Isn’t that what it is about, in the end? The haters have lost part of their humanity. Rather than try to find it, they try to strip others of it, so that they might have company in their misery. You don’t want to go there, do you? I know that I certainly do not.
This quote is about retaining your humanity. If you give in to the temptation to behave badly, you will end up giving away a little bit of your humanity in the process. I don’t think that it will ever be a good idea, do you? I hope that you do not think so.
Yes, it might feel good for the moment, to lash out at them, whether it be verbally, emotionally, or physically. But that moment will pass. Then what? Will you be explaining to a police officer why you felt it necessary to hit them? Will you be haunted by remorse for the terrible things you said?
As with allowing them to bring you low, if you ignore them, you may feel sad, bad, or mad. However that moment will pass, and you will eventually feel better. So if the moment will pass either way, which is the wiser path to take?
Yes, it won’t be the easier path at first. But as you practice, and as you learn from each new experience, you will get better at it. You will find it easier and easier to ignore them, and take the high road.
There will always be haters. The question is if you are willing to be one as well. Will you let yourself be pulled down that low? Or will you resist?
From: Twitter, @talkmaster
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/b/bookertwa105621.html
Photo by Paul Brockmeyer
- Haters Will Hate (startingwithin.com)
- The road less travelled by may make all the difference but the low road is a LOT more tempting. (lucysfootball.com)
- Stop, Breathe, Block (nyongdalminds.wordpress.com)