I never understood the expression “haters gonna hate” until I got into YouTube videography. I never fully appreciated that when you put yourself out there, when you open yourself to the general public, there is an infinite range on the perspective of human opinions such that someone will criticize you or find something wrong with what you’ve shared. It doesn’t matter how innocuous your content might be. When you share your life experience with the public, someone will necessarily find something negative to say. A few examples:

When Baboo was still alive (he was such an awesome dog!), I got comments to the effect that it’s animal cruelty to own a pug. The way they are bred leads to sleep apnea, heart problems, etc. It didn’t seem to matter to the haters that Baboo was actually a rescue. They watched a video of Baboo sleeping, and they didn’t see a cute pug – they saw something they hated.

That ostrich egg omelet video (which is now over 5 million views on YouTube alone!) has prompted people to claim that we were eating an endangered animal… That we “killed an ostrich baby”. It didn’t matter that the egg came from a local ostrich farm. Or that the eggs we eat are unfertilized, such that we are not killing baby birds, but rather eating the unfertilized egg (put this way, I now fully appreciate that when we eat bird eggs, we are effectively eating bird menstruation, which sounds really gross. But I love eggs too much to care! lol).

And when creativity met mad genius, and I am managed to braid the hair of my daughter’s BFF with three vacuum cleaners, some inevitable hating was also born in the comment sections of various news outlets that published the video.

There are always going to be people who look at a rose and see only the thorns. They will look at a beautiful sunset, and see only the dark night approaching. They will look at a picturesque sunrise, and see only the inevitable day at the office. Haters can, and will, always find something to hate, even in the most beautiful and innocent things.

And I am not writing this from a high-horse, “I love everything”, “I can always smell the flowers” perspective. On the contrary. I am writing it from a perspective of self-awareness, because I too wake up some days and only see the thorns, not the rose. Some days I am shocked at how many bad drivers there are on the road. But being sufficiently self-aware, I have come to recognize that there always seem to be more bad drivers on the road whenever I am in a bad mood. My experience, and my interpretation of the world around me is fundamentally shaped by my perspective, by my mood. Negativity breeds negativity. It promotes negativity. It taints one’s experience of the world.

Sometimes I can predict the hate that any video is going to generate. Other times I am genuinely surprised at the source of some people’s negativity. But such is the guaranteed outcome of making something public. Making something public is not a passive gesture. You can’t put something out there and be shocked when the haters hit the message board. By putting it out there, you have asked for their opinion, and you have to listen to it. I do not disregard the hate in its entirely. It’s not because a comment is hateful that it is wrong, and sometimes there is a genuine and legitimate perspective that you can learn from.

Overall, as much as you want, you will never please everyone. The haters gonna hate, and it’s good to learn how to deal with it. When you open yourself up, you can’t expect a safe space. And stay in a safe space for too long, you will lose any immune you ever had to deal with hate in the first place.

And to leave you with a smile, it was Barnie’s birthday over the weekend. Naturally, we celebrated! 

Peace out!