Valentine's Day 2013

It is time for the Valentine's Day Special - "Love, Hate and the American Way."

Have you ever noticed that America is a land of extremes? Very few people "like" things; they "LOVE" them (or "HATE" them).

It seems to me both love and hate in American culture are weak, watery things with no substance. In most of the world Love and Hate are far more powerful and far less common. The very weakness of these expressions in America precludes us from understanding the viewpoint of our enemies, and it also convinces the world that we as a people are shallow, inconsequential beings.

In Japan (at least in the Japan I knew) one would never say "I love.." or "I hate.."; one's actions and bearing would demonstrate those feelings so much that speaking the words would seem gauche and self-aggrandizing. If I love you, you should know it. If I hated you then you would already be gone from this world.

Both love and hate are primal, extremely basic emotional and mental states that encompass the very essence of our being. Or they should be, anyway. There is very little in this world I love and all I love are creatures of one species or another; no objects. There are many "things" I like (and many persons) but not a long list in the love category.

So I ask you - do you REALLY "love" Coca-Cola? Does it spur your thoughts, occupy your mind and does it's absence create an almost unbearable longing in your heart? Really?

On Hatred - Hate is a black thing, dark and fierce and as powerful as the world. Hatred consumes the mind as much as love (or more); There is very little in the world WORTHY of my hatred (although much I hold in contempt).

So do you REALLY "hate" broccoli? Does its very existence offend your soul? Will you destroy broccoli at every turn until it is completely, utterly driven from the world? Will you put your life on the line in order to rid the world of broccoli?

Something to consider as you go about your day; and in the spirit of Valentine's Day - "わたし は あなた すき です"

As an aside - the phrase "I ABSOLUTELY hate ______" is totally ignorant; Hatred IS an absolute.