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“If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn’t part of ourselves doesn’t disturb us.”
– Hermann Hesse

I have heard this quote before, and rejected it. “That just can’t be true,” I thought. When I hate people, or traits, I hate them because they are Unlike me, I thought.
Reading this quote again today made me revisit the argument. This time, I suppose I have to admit I agree with it. Reluctantly. When I am irritated by the laziness of others, it is because I berate myself for being lazy. When I am put off by the arrogance of others, I can see the arrogance in myself if I turn the focus.
This is a rather humbling realization.

In a beautiful act of continuity, I read Lord of the Flies last week. How ironic that it so matched the timbre of my posts of last week, regarding the innate evil nature of humans. This book, though a classic for many, slipped from my notice for all these years. It was required reading in school, but for some reason I missed the class that required it. Maybe it’s because I was in Running Start at the time and missed the high school requirement, if it was read in Junior or Senior years. At any rate, I thought it was about time for me to read this novel that I had heard much to-do about. Plus, it’s one of the books on the 100 most often challenged books, which is a list I hope to read through in entirety someday.

At any rate – wow! The book reads smoothly and easily. I probably could have tackled¬†¬†¬† it when I was 10. However, I bet I would have missed out on all the beautifully disturbing allegory in the story. I love the foreshadowing, and the representations of human nature vs. logic, etc. It was a delicious and sad read, and I’m glad I got it under my belt, finally.

It makes me remember that my difficulty in resolving the question of “what the hell is wrong with our species” is not mine alone, and is a topic of philosophical thought throughout history. I guess that means there is no answer or reason. But it sure makes for great literature!

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