Insights: The Opposite of Love is Not Hate

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Meeting new people is always fun for me. I love hearing their stories and learning why they are who they are, what they are passionate about, what they spend their life doing, and what they believe in.

It is fascinating seeing what makes up people’s personalities and their choices.

I met a woman named Tiffany a few months ago. She had started a clothing line called Trato. Many people start a clothing line, but what I was impressed with is that she gives 15 percent of her profits to organizations such as Oceana, Marine Conservation and Project Aware, all of which support her passion for protecting the wild life in the oceans. Tiffany lives her passion by not eating meat and doing beach clean-ups.

I enjoy meeting people like this. They walk their talk and do not let challenges get in their way. This is how we move our and others lives forward, and how we make a difference in the world.

You know how much I love quotes, so here’s a good one here for you: “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.”

The quote is from Elie Wiesel, and it makes me want to run down the street and wake everyone up screaming just to confront people’s apathy.

Indifference is dangerous. It’s something I see constantly in people. Indifference can lead to depression, anxiety and giving up on living a fulfilling life. Indifference keeps people in relationships that are unhealthy, jobs they tolerate and numbing themselves to their lives.

We can see indifference not just in people, but in companies, communities, cities and sometimes even countries.

Often we see this indifference covered up by overeating, drinking, addictions, power struggles, making money, or losing focus on relationships.

With such negative affects why do we allow indifference? Because we allow fear to be greater than our passion. So rather than feel the fear of pushing through what is uncomfortable, we run away from it, freeze, or fight. None of these reactions to life work. They just keep us numb.

It might be uncomfortable moving life forward, but isn’t it more uncomfortable spinning your wheels and not going anywhere except distracting yourself from what you are afraid of. Please, please, please, no matter how scary it is, hold your passions, hold your dreams, and pursue what is important to you. If it is overwhelming or scary, break it down into more manageable pieces that seem doable.

Think about all the people who have influenced your life, imagine if they allowed fear/indifference to stop them from being in your life. How would that be for you? Imagine how you would limit your life and the life of others. Not worth it. So go out, do what you are passionate about, and please do not let ambivalence, apathy or indifference take over your life.

Remember to start small. Instead of watching a reality show, watch a documentary, go for a walk, read a book, call a friend, learn a new language, volunteer, set a business plan in place, and then end big.

You can join Tiffany and me at her beach cleanup on September 20 at Balboa Pier. Go to for more information. And remember, it is okay to be uncomfortable—it’s better than being indifferent.

Contact Shelly at [email protected] or


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