To hate anything is to invite evil into the world

When I was a very small child

I got a prickle in my foot

“I hate these goat head burrs!”

I yelled

And Mum said very firmly – harshly even

“Hate is a very strong word – don’t use it”

This memory sits with me so strongly

Because at the time – I didn’t think I deserved it

Some sympathy would be nice

Surely everyone hates painful goat head burrs!

Surely everyone hates


Then I grew up


To hate something


Or anyone

Is to invite evil into the world

I’ve learned to accept

Which is a much better word

I’ve learnt to tolerate

Tried to understand

I cannot change another person

Or situation

But I can choose

Where my feet land

It is not the prickles fault

It caught me unaware

And as a great man once said

“Let no man pull you low enough to hate him”

Martin Luther King

Didn’t want hate in his reflection

Because what you give out

Is what comes back

And who really wants to live like that?

*some people. It’s pride month – people still hate gays. They hate people who are different. They hate this and they hate that and basically they are just hateful people

That really happened by the way – and it did stick in my brain for just that reason – Mum was angry with me for using the word hate.

I thought it was so weird given she was the gentlest of people and would normally have sympathised with me about the pain of that prickle. Goat heads are a wickedly sharp three pronged burr – if you stand on one in bare feet the pain ricochets up your body and makes a grown man yodel.

Bastards of things.

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