I came across an unusual book the other day. It’s called This Date in New York Yankee Hating: Going Negative on Baseball’s Most Despised Team. The book was written by Art McDonald and features a reason for Yankee haters to celebrate every day of the year.
On May 4 Yankee haters can celebrate the fact that on this date in 1912, the Yankees scored 15 runs and still lost to Philadelphia, 18-15.
On June 23 Yankee haters can observe a moment of silence in honor of Mal Kitteridge, who died on this date in 1928. Kitteridge managed 17 games in the major leagues. The only game he won was against the Yankees.
On November 19 Yankee haters can dance a little jig because on this date in 1979, Nolan Ryan chose to sign with the Astros rather than the Yankees, who wanted him badly. Ryan won 324 games and struck out 5,714 batters, none of them wearing a Yankee uniform.
Okay, so the book is fairly entertaining, especially for baseball trivia geeks. But let’s be honest. The main reason people hate the Yankees is jealousy. The Yankees have won 27 World Championships. If you’re a fan of a team that’s never won one, or maybe only a couple and never in your lifetime, naturally you’re going to break out in hives thinking about the Yankees.
Jealousy is also a common reason why people hate each other.
In the Bible, Cain killed his brother, Abel, in a fit of jealousy. (Genesis 4:8) King Saul hated David because he was jealous of David’s success in battle and his growing reputation among the people. (1 Samuel 18:1-16) The Jewish leaders hated Jesus at least partly because he was so popular among the common people.
Is there someone you hate?
You probably tell yourself you have good reasons for your feelings, but could it be that you’re just jealous?
Years ago, when my first book (The Samson Syndrome) was published, Karen Kingsbury warned me that I would lose some friends. She said, “Some people will be jealous and will start treating you differently.” I argued with her. I said, “Not my friends. No way.” She said, “Just wait and see.”
Well, she was right. Time and space do not permit me to tell the stories, but I was attacked royally. One person that I would have called a close friend left our church in protest, saying that I had prostituted my ministry by selling my manuscript to the highest bidder.* He called me a mercenary and said that he could never respect a person who would sell himself the way I had done. (FYI–this fellow was quite the fan of Max Lucado and other authors, who for some strange reason, he didn’t consider to be prostitutes and mercenaries.)
I’m not saying jealousy is the only reason why people hate, but it’s one of the big ones. So if you feel animosity toward someone, ask yourself what that person has that you wish you had. It will take brutal honesty–more honesty than some people are capable of–to come up with a self-indicting answer. But if you do, you will have taken the first step toward peace.
It was William Penn who said, “The jealous are troublesome to others, but they are a torment to themselves.”**
* The man who accused me of selling my manuscript to the highest bidder didn’t know anything about the details of my book contract. He would no doubt be shocked to know that authors often spurn the highest bidder because there are many aspects to a contract that have nothing to do with money, and most authors are smart enough to know that some things are more important than money.
** From More Fruits of Solitude, 1693