A Little Self-Hate Can Go a Long Way


There are things I absolutely hate about myself, aspects of my personality I despise and long to change, inherited tendencies I wish I could kill and bury. While it is possible that focusing too much on my list of faults could lead to poor self-esteem and a life of guilt and shame I am convinced that failing to address these traits would have a worse result. I would be a very bad man. I need to be better.

Among the things I wish I could change-

-          I am not a good listener. Wait, that is too kind. I am a terrible listener. My racing brain causes me to think of responses before some is halfway through a second sentence.

-          I inherited my father’s temper. I have a tendency to lash out and be unkind. I need to slow down more and think of the feelings of others.

-          I am inpatient and intolerant of the faults of others. It is too easy for me to point fingers and criticize. I need more grace.

-          I am a worrier, my anxiety can cause me to be fearful about things that may never happen and seldom do.

-          I have an unhealthy need for affirmation, I can work too hard trying to please others.

There is not room in a blog post for the complete list, so I will stop here. Needless to say, I have a LOT of things I am working on. But to me, that is the point. I am working on the list. I am not content with the person I am, not satisfied with where I am in my personal life. I need to be better.

This desire to be better is not limited to external actions. I need to think better thoughts as well. In the dark reaches of my brain lurk some pretty terrible things, things which if allowed to take hold and grow would result in terrible deeds. I realize what the Apostle Paul meant when he spoke of “taking every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ.” I have thoughts that need to be put in jail, rehabilitated when possible and executed when not!

I am not alone in my struggles against and within myself. The need to struggle against the evil within is a universal one. Those who excuse their bad thoughts and behaviors, those who justify their actions instead of working to be better, will ultimately be exposed to the world as the wretches they are.

We are seeing this now on a daily basis. Each morning we wake to new reports of the terrible behavior of some celebrity or person in power. From Harvey Weinstein to Kevin Spacey to Mark Halperin there appears to be an unending stream of immoral behavior flowing from the hearts of powerful men. The natural question arises, “How could they do such terrible things?” As I hear these stories I find myself replying, “This is what happens when you don’t hate the evil inside.”

This is what happens when you make excuses for your perversity, when you consider yourself more important than others, so special and important that your desires deserve to be met. This is what happens when being a good person, being a better, kinder person, does not matter enough. The process is always the same. First we tolerate the evil desire, then we excuse the evil behavior.

If we want to be better people we need to change our priorities as a society. We need to lessen our emphasis on self-esteem and feeling good about ourselves and encourage more balanced self-assessment. When it comes to the evil in our hearts and minds, the world can use some more hate.

- Bart

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"Want to see a Fat Man Naked?"


I have said a lot of stupid and offensive things in my life but none of them rise to the level of stupidity displayed by Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein, twice married with 5 children and the producer of blockbuster movies (5 of which have won Oscars for best picture) can now lay claim to the dumbest pick up line ever spoken. He is reported to have asked Ashley Judd, “Do you want to watch me take a shower?”

A quick Google image search of Mr. Weinstein answers the question for all women (at least all of those not stricken with a pudgy fetish). No one would want to watch Harvey Weinstein take a shower. Ever.

Given the obviously disgusting nature of the question and the blatant sexual harassment it represents one is left to wonder why he would even ask it. What sort of man thinks it is appropriate or acceptable to ask women who work for him if they want to see him naked? Why would he think he could get away with such behavior? The answer seems to be that there were women who took him up on his offer, and that he did get away this behavior for over twenty years.

He was able to get away with it because he lives his life in a world without moral values, a world where money, power and fame are all that matters. In Mr. Weinstein’s world morality is about attending women’s marches, distributing movies about the victimization of women on college campuses (2015’s “The Hunting Ground”) and donating to the right political candidates. For him, morality seems to have very little to do with how he treats the actresses who work for him. He was too important to concern himself with the feelings of others.

While Weinstein’s pig-ness is unassailable, the fact he got away with it is also concerning. While the actresses who were victimized and harassed are not to blame for his behavior it is nonetheless sad that so many remained silent for so long. The danger of their careers being harmed should they speak out drove many to silence. Ms. Judd referenced this fear herself.

While these women are not to blame for the harassment the reality that their silence allowed it to continue cannot be ignored. In situations of abuse if we calculate the cost of making a stand, if there is a price we will not pay for our principles, bad will be inevitably allowed to continue. Values are either invaluable or worthless. Compromise is not an option.

This truth applies to every area of our lives. Every time we compromise our values, every time we say something is “Not that bad” and do things “a little wrong but not terrible”, every time we make excuses for our bad actions, every time we allow wrong to continue for financial or personal gain we follow the example of Harvey Weinstein. We become people without a moral compass.

I do not want to be like Harvey Weinstein. I cannot change the culture of Hollywood or influence what happens in the halls of power but I am not powerless. In my own circle of influence I can choose to treat people well, to make difficult and costly choices and to do the right thing, every time. I cannot change the world, but I can change my world.

-          Bart