David J. Kearney

March 10, 2015

Don’t Live in the Town of Indifference

Filed under: Personal — David J. Kearney @ 12:19 pm
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This was a Toastmasters speech that I gave on February 19, 2015.

Don’t Live in the Town of Indifference

“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.” Indifference signifies a lack of emotion, caring, and interest. You can examine to Love, Hate and the opposite emotion of indifference and realize that to live in Indifference, you have no way to change, no road to get you moving to the next town, to the next state, to a higher place.

Let’s talk about living elsewhere, the place of hate or the place of love.

If we are to speak of love, we must also consider hate. Love is easy, digestible, and something everyone romanticizes about. Hate is dark, disturbing, and misunderstood…and something that folks generally steer away from.

Some things have happened over the past few months…I have traveled by running, cycling, with a little bit of walking over 600 miles. I have lost some weight, and brought my blood pressure and cholesterol down a bit. I still have a way to go, but I will get there. My typical time to wake in the morning is 4:30 AM. Don’t get me wrong, I love to feel rested, but going to bed at 10 and getting up at 4:30 doesn’t give me that rested feeling. Most folks feel awful getting up more or less in the middle of the night. It just isn’t natural.

I was on the treadmill one morning around 5:30 and on an intense run. I thought what got me here…every day for the past couple of months…to run like there was no tomorrow. Was I insane? What was I running from? To? Was I motivated by my health issues? The BMI chart has my categorized as obese. Was I inspired by an upheaval to my home life? What inspired me, motivated me, and made me intensely run on a treadmill for up-to 95 minutes? Running on a treadmill, although physical, is a mental game too, especially for that duration. I gotta say…it really boiled down to hate. I want to discuss the passion and emotion I believe I felt…and it certainly wasn’t love. The hate for how I felt physically, mentally, and emotionally. I hated certain situations, circumstances. I will circle back to love momentarily…so bear with me.

I have been examining, specifically hate, for the last 6 months or so and I have come to find that it has been one of the visceral fires that has burned to keep me moving forward…not only recently, but for a good part of my life when I was jumping very high hurdles or attempting to. Is it that I have a Type-A personality? Is it that I am a workaholic? Is it that I am an obsessive compulsive? I have analyzed it and I know that when moving forward is something that I need to do I can do it with this emotion.

Hate in this context isn’t about a feeling toward other human beings; it is about having such strong feelings about moving yourself to get beyond where you are right now. Hate as found in the dictionary or even generally on the Internet is really a strong dislike of something…with more intense definitions here and there, but the definition I like the most is the one by Aristotle. Aristotle viewed hate as a desire for the annihilation of an object that is incurable by time. Time in and of itself was not going to get me in shape. Time in and of itself will not give anyone an education, professional accolades, and better home life, more money, a better job, etc. It would be nice if positive thinking, personal coaching, and self-improvement programs would fix everyone’s feeling of insecurity, desperation, and a deep desire to change, but sometimes for some people there needs to be a complete disgust for where they are at in order to change.

I was actually so intrigued by my feelings that I did a little bit of studying on the Neuroscience of Hatred. Yes…I actually did read some papers on the Neuroscience of Hatred and they, in fact, do exist and it is a thing. Love, passionate love, is so closely related to hate that there is a very small difference between how our brain reacts to either passion. One difference that was discovered by Neurobiologist Semir Zeki, of University College London’s Laboratory of Neurobiology…he states that judgment and reasoning are de-activated in large areas of the brain during love…so we become less than intelligent and rational, whereas only small areas are de-activated in hate. This tells me that there might be a more reasoned approach to moving forward if a situation is hated.

This information about hate is not to push aside love, but meant to convey that there is a place and time for both love and hate. Love for your friends, family, and significant other, love for your audience…the love of life, the green grass, the blue sky. And, although love can decrease our judgment and reasoning, love is patient and kind…even for the lack of and maybe due to this lack of judgment and reasoning.

With love or hate we can accomplish many things; we can begin to love the idea of changing our current state or hate the idea of staying where we are, but having either strong emotion focused on the same end result can move anyone to a better place. The line between Love and Hate is a fine one.

I was talking about this concept to some other folks. One couple, I believe, was a little shocked or offended that I would even utter the word hate as a positive tool. “Oh My…He Said the Word Hate” and mentioned to my wife that I have a hate problem. My wife wasn’t a big fan of the discussion either…to say the least. I was recently accused of coming across to others as too passionate. I think I am passionate at both…love and hate. Is that wrong? Co-workers mentioned I just might be on to something. My doctor, after seeing my exercise log and me talking with him said that I was able to constructively use my frustration, which not many people are able to do, and that I was more in-touch with my feelings than most people. Perhaps to the wrong people I might be taken out of context, but taking advantage of strong emotion to propel yourself forward and out of what you are in is the solution that can sustain you.

Living in the town of indifference is where no man should spend his day… that is unless you are indifferent to what’s for dinner; spaghetti or angel hair, soda or seltzer, bread or rolls.

What’s in you, can move you.

lhhs lh2


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