It’s Good to be Hated: Consider it an honor

It is actually quite a compliment to be hated. Being hated is a very healthy thing. Its one thing to point to a big national figure like Donald Trump and say that people hate him, and for good reason. It’s quite another to look at a new executive in any business who brings in their wake great change and to say that they are hated. But in essence, the hatred is a needed element and is something that should be sought out, not avoided. If everyone loves you, you are doing something wrong, and not pushing the world around you as much as you should be to above the line thinking.

It never made any sense to me why we have taught people in our culture that the most important thing in the world was to seek being liked by our peers. I suppose for me it has taken roughly ten years of writing articles over 1000 words each coupled with many interesting life experiences to hone the issue down to simply Above the Line Thinking and Below the Line Thinking. I had to re-read The Oz Principle for a business need, which is a brilliant book. But after all the personal work that I have done, it really made a lot more sense to me now than it had previously. Its one thing to read a book like that and agree with it. It’s quite another to understand it at a deep philosophical level and be able to use it. Many of our problems in the world do simply come down to below the line thinking and above the line thinking as proposed in The Oz Principle.

But that wasn’t the first time that humans figured out the problem, The Oz Principle is a business take on The Wizard of Oz which was a very empowering story about not being a victim in life, and getting what you need at the end of a hero’s journey. Dorothy and her little dog didn’t do anything to be hated by the Wicked Witch but exist, much like the rest of us. All Dorothy did was get caught in a whirlwind and land on the sister of the Witch with her house. It was an accident, yet Dorothy was made to feel she owed something to the evil spinster. All Dorothy wanted to do was return to Kansas and help people along the way. Nobody in the world should have hated her for it, yet they did. It was unavoidable. It always is for people who are good to be hated by those who are bad.

So what is good and bad, well, simply bad people are below the line thinkers who scheme and plot to get others to join them there. Below the line thinking is victimhood mentality, thinking negatively about things, trying to keep the world suppressed to your weaknesses so that you as a below the line thinker are not outmatched by others. Below the line thinkers love the idea of equality for all because it gets them off the hook to perform. This is why politics is such a below the line activity, and why we instinctively think of it as an evil enterprise. Above the line however is where the good are, they are positive people always looking to improve the world around them. They take personal responsibility for actions and are always advancing intellectually because of it. Judging the good from the bad is simply that easy.

In the corporate world it happens all the time, a consultant is hired or a charismatic new CEO who comes in as an above the line thinker and changes the world of the below the liners, and it is safe to say that those employees hate that new element. They hate above the line thinkers because it demands on them performance, they are too lazy, or too corrupt to compete with. So the dominate emotion is sheer hatred. I grew up with a pretty good understanding of these things before I ever read The Oz Principle, but as I got older I understood the futility of making other people happy really early in my life. Instinctively I understood that if people disliked you, that you were doing something very right. Now in my life I understand that the more people do dislike me or hate me, the better I am doing in the world. If everybody loves you, then you are socializing with too many below the line thinkers and are becoming one of them yourself. Above the line thinkers, good people, are much fewer in number among populations because of the difficulty in being an above the line person. It is much easier to be scarecrows in life using The Wizard of Oz metaphor a bit, just doing our jobs and staying put where people tell us to be, then in going down the yellow brick road to a moment of self-discovery to find out all along we had everything we needed within ourselves. Its much easier to blame others for our problems than to take responsibility for them and to solve them. Most people spend their entire lives like the tin man or the scare crow blaming others for their withering condition when all they really need to do is to follow Dorothy to their own personal freedom. But guess what, they want to keep it that way, because it’s easy to just stand in a field and rot away. It takes a great effort to walk around and change your circumstances and when some above the line leaders crosses your path and evokes you to move along, great resentment and hatred do become the dominating emotions. But so what.

Once you understand that everything essentially comes down to above the line and below the line thinking, everything in the world makes much more sense, especially in politics. If the world believes that Donald Trump is a good president because lots of people love him then merit would be given to his faults due to so many below the line thinkers hating him. But as my way of thinking persists, since lots of people hate him, he is doing a great job as president because he is encouraging them to think above the line and they clearly don’t want to. That isn’t his problem, its theirs.

Everyone should aspire to be an above the line thinker, there is nothing good that comes out of below the line thinking. Forget about political affiliations, gender roles, skin color, nothing matters more than people who are above the line thinkers. Everyone should aspire to be one. Everyone, without exception. But so long as there are below the line people functioning in the world, there will be conflict and hatred. And that conflict is good, it’s needed, and its very healthy. Without above the line thinkers there would never be advancements in human society. And without them there would never be a challenge to evil. The true definition of the battles of good and evil come down to above and below the line thinking. The two are not compatible, they cannot negotiate together, and one must destroy the other. So the hatred that is directed at good, above the line thinkers is one of the greatest compliments that can be given. It means that you are doing it right, and good things do come about as a result—so long as you can teach yourself not to care about their opinions.

Rich Hoffman

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