one of the most popular “get to know you” questions is the one that asks if you could go back in time and do anything or meet anyone or see something, what would it be? i have three answers:

1) meet jesus – i think that would’ve just been freaking awesome.

2) watch jackie robinson steal home – he’s my favorite baseball player of all time. that would’ve been fun.

3) meet the guy who introduced us to the term “hater” and punch him in the face.

sounds a bit harsh doesn’t it? okay, it probably is. and i probably wouldn’t have punched him because i’m a wuss and would’ve been afraid it’d make him mad. i seriously hate the entire “hater” concept and lifestyle though.

and personally, i don’t think it’s a positive lifestyle to live.

if you look on facebook or twitter, i guarantee you that you’ll see someone mentioning haters in their status over the past day or two. last week i was driving down my road and saw a twelve year old wearing a “hi hater” t-shirt. if you listen to an interview with any current musician or athlete, they’ll talk about “haters hatin on” them.

the haters are everywhere.

well, people talking about haters are everywhere.

i’ve spent a few days deciding whether or not i was going to write this post. i was afraid that it might rub some people the wrong way. i was worried that maybe i was making a big deal about nothing.

then i saw katt williams on tv on friday night.

now don’t get me wrong, i think katt williams is freaking hilarious. dirty as crap, but hilarious. however, he’s got an entire bit on haters. this is what he says:

live your life and get your hustle on and understand that people are going to hate you regardless of what you do. you got to be grateful. you need haters. what are you complaining about? what do you think a hater’s job is? if you have someone hating on you right now you better think of how to get five more people hating by christmas. you need haters.

now, before i go any further, let me say i have no problem with katt williams. i just think this mindset is wrong. yes, no matter what we do in life, there will be people that don’t like us or what we’re doing. the thing is, we can’t just leave it at that.

if we go out and live our lives by the idea of “people are going to hate me no matter what so i might as well embrace the haters” then we have absolutely no chance to grow and become better people.

i know there are people out there that i could classify as “haters” towards me. for a long time, i just said screw it, who cares if they don’t like me. i had the mindset that was mentioned in that quote. then someone i respected said something to me.

they told me i’d been a jerk lately.

well, crap. that’s not good. i don’t want to be a jerk. i don’t want to be known as that. i wonder if that’s why those people don’t like me. i wonder if that’s why we’re not friends anymore.

once i realized why they were “hatin on me” i was able to try to fix that. they weren’t hating on me because of something positive i was doing but rather a character flaw that i had at the time (and quite frankly still have at times).

when we get real with ourselves, we realize that there are things we do that causes the haters to hate. for me it’s that i can act like a real jerk at times and can come off as egotistical. it’s my personality and there are times when i take the jokes too far and they rub people the wrong way. i know that about myself. i know that so much that i am intentional about trying to correct that. yes, i screw up and still come off as an egotistical jerk at times, but i at least recognize it and try to fix it. i’m not okay with that character flaw.

if i embraced the haters then i’d just be embracing being an egotistical jerk.

we can lie to ourselves and continue to tell ourselves that “the only reason that person’s a hater is because they’re jealous of me and wish that they were me.” that makes us feel good about ourselves. that also leads to more and more people hating us.

or, in an act of growing up and maturing, we can look at ourselves and try to figure out why it is that people aren’t liking us. we can step back and evaluate ourselves and our character flaws and actually work on fixing them.

that leads to us building better relationships with other people.

and better relationships lead to opportunities to talk about jesus.

and opportunities to talk about jesus leads to changing the world.

say your prayers and take your vitamins.

have a nice day.