Comedian Billy Crystal used to perform a funny sketch on Saturday Night Live where he and Christopher Guest would compete with each other about painful things they would do to themselves, always ending with the laugh line “I hate when that happens…” The images they conjured were awful, but we laughed. Fast forward to our current news headlines and that catch phrase from the past takes on a whole new meaning to me. I hate when this happens.
I have lots of time to think in the studio while I have my hands in the clay-making process. I often say that art is my personal therapy. Hate is such a vile and powerful emotion that I try hard not to dignify it with any wasted energy. Instead, I focus on its opposite — Love— and try to embody that in every way. But hate exists and is fostered and emboldened when we tune it out or ignore it. I hate when this happens.
What is the solution? How do we tamp down the hate and return to compassion? We begin by watching our own language and actions. Are we contributing to the problem or combating it? For me, I think about the people and icons in my lifetime who have embodied love and kindness and try to emulate their example. Anger begets hate; love disarms it. Be kind to one another. I love when that happens.