What do we mean when we use these words?
I am uncertain they mean much to many anymore. They have been diluted by overuse.
Imagine an amalgam of utterances where we overhear [hear would likely be more appropriate than overhear here it would be impossible to ignore her chatter] half of a mobile phone conversation on the train. The woman won't shut up. We are forced to listen to her drone on. Let's call her Alicia.
Apparently, Alicia loves and hates many things. She loves chocolate martinis. She hates Tami's boyfriend's fucking stuck-up attitude. She loves Brent's new girlfriend, although she was convinced that she would hate her at first. She hates her hair. She loves her manicure. She hates the neighbor's dog. She loves reality TV. She hates SBC. She loves her new headset. She hates the weather. She loves the new shoes that Traci got. She hates her new purse, but she had been convinced when she bought it that she would love it. She loves the new barista. She hates Kyle's taste in Music. She loves the other sushi place. She hates a coworker . . . .
Does Alicia really love or hate these things? If she did, she would have a severe personality disorder. I doubt she does. I think it's more likely that she has a severe linguistic disorder. Sadly, I think it is one that many share.
I try not to use the word hate at all. Whenever I catch myself even thinking it, I try to pause and reflect.
I do use the word love. I try to use it only when I mean it, and only about people. But, what do I mean by it? What do I mean by saying that I love someone? That varies so much. Among other things, I love you has meant:
- I view your happiness, right now, in this moment, as important as my own.
- I completely forgive you.
- I wish that I could take away your pain, suffer instead of you, and if I could, I would gladly do so.
- I could never thank you enough for the kindness, empathy and support you have shown me.
- I will do everything I can to understand you better by trying view the world from your perspective.
- Thank you . . . . my life is better with you in it.