May seem an odd headline for my first blog here but, hang in there, I will connect them, I promise.

As a kid, at the dinner table one night, I told my dad I hated okra. It was out of a can and looked like something that might have been swimming in a pond earlier in the day. My dad made two things very clear to me that night. Hate was wrong and I was going to eat what was left in the bowl that now contained the okra.

A lesson that has been retained over may years.

A few days ago, while commenting on a friend’s Facebook post about hate, I stopped and thought about that okra.

My dad meant well at the time, but respectfully, times have changed. I still don’t hate. I choose instead to simply not like certain people, things…events. It was while sharing my thoughts on my friend’s post that this popped into my head…

…Hate is little more than a cancer for which there is a cure but there are just too many not seeking it or even want to be cured. Worse, there are actually those who purposely want to be infected by it so they, too, can serve as a carrier and spread it. Like cancer, hate is destructive. It causes pain and sorrow and as we have seen too much of lately, death. It’s easy to hate, much harder to stop and ask what it is about this person, thing or event that makes you hate and try to reason it away.

Cancer is still scary but, in some cases, not as much as it was 20 years ago. Hate is still just as scary as it has ever been. So where’s the cure? Like most things, it should start in the young, impressionable mind with wisdom shared by an authority figure. Maybe at the dinner table? Maybe over a bowl of okra?