Hate doesn’t conquer all

Karina Belotserkovskiy, Editor-at-large

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For every happy couple on Valentine’s day, there are at least a handful of people groaning about how terrible the holiday is.

The complaints start out valid: single people throw shots about consumerism, the way the holiday often hinges on heteronormativity and how certain groups of people are alienated. Cool, I’m open to that conversation — those are important issues that need addressing. These complaints become something meaningless when the discussion drones on. Out goes the rational dislike, in comes the unrepentant bitterness, bleeding in through refrains like “I hate couples shoving it in everyone’s face, seriously!”

The hatred of Valentine’s Day and the “coolness” many believe they gain from hating said holiday reflects a deeper issue: bitterness at others’ happiness.

Valentine’s Day hate is only one glaring example of an act in “cool bitterness.” Just in the past couple of months, I’ve heard complaints regarding common bits of everyday happiness. That kid from English class is shoving his acceptance into his dream college in everyone’s face. Your lab partner won’t shut up about her part in the play. Your friend needs to calm down about his “A” on his paper, it doesn’t even mean anything.

In short, someone is happy about something that happened or about a certain person in his or her life, and the gut instinct for many is to tear down that person’s happiness. This accomplishes nothing except allowing you to deflect your own self-pity onto somebody else.

As long as whatever makes your classmates happy isn’t hurting anyone, how is anger towards them going to help you and whatever problems you may be facing?

There is a fine line between happiness and arrogance with regard to one’s good fortune. Taking pride in your own accomplishments is something normal, especially today, when there’s nothing more popular than disliking yourself.

Happy Valentine’s Day to every happy couple. To every single person like me, I challenge you all to put away the bitterness and find something to be happy about. Maybe a friend or family member because love isn’t just romantic. Maybe a movie or one of your favorite songs. Or maybe the sales on chocolates waiting for you in less than 24 hours.