An ode to hateful people

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 19, 2007

As I was leaving Wal-Mart after a routine trip, one of the employees stopped me for my receipt and asked, “Why are some people so hateful?”

I had to ask her again, not sure if I was hearing her right, exactly what she said.

She mumbled a few things before taking my receipt and marking it with a yellow highlighter. Then she eyed a girl walking out of the store and mumbled a few more choice words.

I smiled at her, took my receipt and walked off.

In that moment I didn’t have an answer to her question and now I still don’t.

Just like I have no idea why some guy in a ratty old blue pick-up truck flipped me off when I was trying to pull into the News-Herald parking lot the other day.

There I was in the middle turn lane just trying to get back to the office after driving 40 minutes one way to attend a Northampton County Commissioners meeting on a deadline day—no make that a Monday deadline day, which is worse.

So, there I was, patiently waiting for 20 cars to pass by the entrance when this fine example of a Homo sapien decided to show me his IQ unprovoked.

First of all I was happy to see he could count, but on the flip side it wasn’t so good to see some one was drunk and operating a motor vehicle so early in the afternoon.

I have 50 other special names for this dude, but all are unfortunately unprintable, un-lady like, callous and (Tah-duh! Streamers, confetti and balloons!) hateful.

People are just hateful.

In fact, I usually say this phrase at least once a week: “I hate people.”

But I usually don’t mean it. There are certain people in this world that no matter what they did I could never hate them. People like, my mom, my aunts, my uncles, a few good friends and Gael Garcia Bernal (he’s a cute actor…just go with it).

My mom cringes when she hears me say the phrase. Like many people she’s never liked the word hate.

She believes what goes around, comes around. So if you say “I hate” that bad energy is going to come back around.

I’m not sure where she got it, perhaps from her hippie days, but that state of mind has always worked for me.

I try not to be venomous when it comes to dealing with hateful people…but like all things in life it’s hard.

Believe it or not whenever I watch the show “Dog Whisperer” I’m reminded of how the quality of your life depends on what you put out there.

If you’ve ever watched the show, you know every problem dog is rehabilitated by approaching it with calm, submissive energy.

Now if it could only be as easy as saying, “Shhh!” to get people to stop whining and sit down.

For me the simplest way of dealing with hateful people is treating them like gold. After all it’s easier catching flies with honey rather than vinegar. For example, I could have smiled at the caveman in the truck.

It’s all a careful balancing act, this struggle with hateful people.

Sometimes when it comes down to it, hateful people are needed, even if we don’t want to admit it.

Every once in a while those annoyances are needed.

Hateful people are often the ones that test us, make us hit the punching bag a little harder or make us work harder to prove them wrong.

So, next time you come in contact with a hateful person, spewing their nastiness out all over the world, take the high road and count your blessings you’re not them.

Amanda VanDerBroek is a Staff Writer for the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. For comments and column suggestions email: or call (252) 332-7209.