The Love/Hate Challenge

Scribe Scribbles (otherwise known as Lady Earlene) has invited me to take part of the Love/Hate challenge. This challenge consists of writing ten things I love and ten things I hate, and then inviting ten more people to join the chain of simultaneously appreciating and despising bloggers. Ready, set, go!

Ten Things To Love:

This list, of course, is beyond the obvious loves of my life: my mother, father, sister, and partner. Those go without saying. This list is a more broad overview that perhaps to which we can all relate.

Writing (creativity) – for me, my creativity is writing. I’m all about putting together the words. For others, it’s art, or music, or who knows what – the point is, creativity is food for the soul. True love abounds.

Goats – So I have a small herd of dairy goats. Besides being ridiculously cute, they are funny, quirky, filled with wide-eyed curiosity, stubborn, smart, and the very ideal of forgiveness. They give my life joy every day.


Empathy and Compassion – These two are the enemies of cruelty in the world. I think if we all could practice a little more empathy and compassion, we’d solve little things like war, hunger, poverty. What’s not to love about treating people with respect?

Intelligence – I cannot stress enough how attractive intelligence is as a quality. I don’t mean book smarts or a harvard education – but somewhere between common sense and knowing things is this lovely trait where you use your brain. It’s true-love inspiring.

Connection and relationships (friendship) – Because without those energy-giving connections that brighten the world up a little more, where would we be? Sure, there are those people in your life that seem to suck the life out of you and you can’t stand, but those people don’t take up the entire world, I swear. From best friends to the bank teller who gives genuine smiles and really cares about how your day is going, those connections weave the intricate web of a society.

Books/Reading – Because, duh.

Learning – This goes with books and reading above, because learning often involves books and reading. But it can also involve a teacher, or just by every day tasks, or whatever it is that sparks the absorption of a new idea or fact. It’s awe-inspiring, if you think about it, what we absorb and learn. And it’s fun.

Traveling (Exploring) – New places make me spaz out with joy, and at the same time, give me an inner peace that feels like home. At 19 I went on a road trip through California to visit the Redwoods, Sequoia National Park, and Death Valley (avoiding the cities religiously). Last summer I spent over two months in DC. A few years ago I spent a week in Utah near the Valley of the Gods. Is love feeling so excited you might fly up into the sky and simultaneously feeling at perfect peace? I think so.

Plants – Because they make it so we can breathe, producing oxygen and all that. But also because they make the world beautiful.

Music – Because who doesn’t like having a soundtrack for everything you do? I believe music can inspire the best of us, if we let it. There’s a reason we love music so much.


Ten Things To Hate:

Hatred is a funny thing. Ask me two years ago, I would have said I didn’t hate anything. That I didn’t dislike anything that much to call it hatred – a feeling the inspires the worst of irrationality, even the worst of humanity. Why do we hate – how did I learn to hate? Alas, that might be a question for another blog post.

These are my best guesses for what truly inspires the mind-numbing sensation of irrationality –

Hatred – Because hatred induces irrationality, it often leads to things like war and hate crimes; atrocities of tremendous scale. I’m not sure what hating the emotion that leads to these acts accomplishes, but there is it.

Arrogance, Condescension, and Self-Entitlement – I cannot describe hatred a better way than the spine crawling, teeth-gritting, writhing sensation that comes about from having to be around people who use the three personality traits here. I cannot get away from them fast enough. They leave a black hole in my brain when I have to think about them. I have to take deliberate steps to calm after coming out of their company.

Cruelty or cruelty’s sake (meaningless violence) – Because hurting someone else because you feel like it is a good way to go about being a person. Psychopaths used to be left in the snow to die for a reason, you know.

People who do horrifying things for attention – I understand drastic statements to make a point. I understand Gandhi starving himself, I understand Thích Quảng Đức setting himself on fire – but the line is drawn at hurting other people. And the line is also drawn when it’s just to bring attention to yourself. I understand feeling little in this big world, and I understand being belittled, downtrodden, voiceless, and stepped upon. But none of that justifies hurting other people.

(Now we’re moving onto the more extreme dislike versus abject hatred portion: )

Depression – As a depression sufferer, this is mostly self-directed. The inability to get anything done because the weight of everything has pulled down any good concept of self and sucked the last bit of energy from your fetal-position… it’s hard to handle. Why can’t I just be a normal person and get things done? Why can’t I just get up off the freaking couch?

Popularity for popularity’s sake (trends – the poison of democracy) – Sorry to sound like a hipster here – but I run far away from popularity trends. I can watch people go stupid over “the new thing” from way over here, thank you. If it didn’t cause people to make stupid decisions and group around bad ideas like it’s their next hit, I probably wouldn’t dislike it so much.

… and sure, I can’t say that I don’t get sucked into them. I wear jeans. I went to the Avengers movies. I bought a t-shirt with Toothless on it. Hypocritical? Probably. (Which is another extreme dislike – but I don’t think we can escape from it very easily). And sure, not all trends are bad. Some are funny. Some can help. But often times, they hurt more than they help, and most don’t depend on mental faculties for execution.

Thoughtlessness – Probably the opposite of intelligence. Doing stupid things because “I wasn’t thinking” just gets on my nerves (probably because I was one of those people with their head in the clouds who did stupid things on accident, but ah well). Children and teenagers make sense – they’re growing, their brains doing crazy chemical gymnastics. Adults? Use your brains. They were made for using. Yes, it’s hard. Do it anyway.


And for the ten people that I invite (but not require) to follow in my stead! If you want to, just for fun. I think it can lead to other, interesting blog posts as well.

Herminia Chow

Lucky Otter’s Haven

Elise Marie Hardenburger

John Guillen

The Story Reading Ape

Brown Eyed Girl

The Tao of Writing

Coffee n’ Notes

Kara Jorgensen

Emily Arden

Ta-da! Have fun, ladies and gents!

About R. K. Brainerd

I've been writing since my pre-teens, mostly in the realm of fantasy and sci-fi. Taking interesting concepts and dropping complex characters into fantastical worlds is my jam. I also raise dairy goats and herd cats, the evidence of which can be found on my Instagram. Welcome to the adventure. View all posts by R. K. Brainerd

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