No Haters Allowed


No Haters Allowed

Happy New Year! As part of my new surrender philosophy I wrote about last week, and as a person who tries each day to advocate for more joy, which I write about nearly every week, I want to take a moment about something that is a goal in 2024. Haters need not apply. What is a hater you ask? Here is my definition of a hater.

Haters are people that define themselves by what they despise. They only talk about what is wrong. Haters can tell you all the reasons they dislike this political candidate or that one. They can tell you everything wrong with Michigan weather and why Michigan is better than Michigan State, why Western is better than Central, the west side is better than the east side, and on and on it goes.

Haters are people that not only see the glass as half-empty, but complain about the glass, criticize your glass and actively seek something or someone to blame as to why their glass isn’t constantly full.

Haters identify their existence and define themselves by what they find wrong in this world. And I am done with the lot of them. They will no longer receive my time, concern, energy, or for that matter quarter. They aren’t allowed in my limited ether. I’m done.

This will not be an easy task. What makes it immeasurably more difficult, is because at times, I am all of those people and all of those examples above (except about Michigan being better than MSU example. Go Green!). We all have our moments. We all have bad days or things that are like nails on a chalk board to us. But where we lose our self-identity is when we begin to align and define ourselves by those things. What makes this even harder still, is that 2024 will be a very tumultuous election year. I simply choose not to play. Instead, I will educate myself on facts, voting records, stances on issues that matter to me and will vote practically, not emotionally. Hate need not apply.


Imagine what our lives would be if we expressed who we are and identify ourselves by expressing ourselves through our passions of what we loved. What we care about. Who we care about. I for one love people who treat the less important like they are more important. I love people who teach. I love people who take time each day to find beauty in something. I love people who love to learn. In 2024, I will identify myself by what I love and appreciate, not what I despise. If you take a moment and really think about this, a sobering realization may just smack you across the face like it did me. My scale was not exactly balanced in that journey of self-identification. I find myself cheering for one thing because I boo the opposite of that one thing. Does that make sense? Let me put it another way. Do we really support the things we say we do, or do we support those things because they are the opposite of what we despise? There is a difference.

In my continuing effort to follow the KISS method (Keep It Simple Steve), I am going to make a concerted effort to evaluate my passions to ensure they aren’t passions merely because they are the opposite of things I despise. No longer will I choose to be identified by what I oppose, but by what I love. Family, friends, watching my kitties wrestle in the sunlight on the living room floor, looking for the helpers, advocating for more joy, celebrating those that help others, creating positive first impressions, those who say, ‘good morning’ and mean it. That is what I love. That is what I cherish. We cannot cherish hate. We cannot cherish things we despise. I choose to be defined by what I love, not what I hate. 2024 is looking up already.

My name is Steve, and I approved this message.

Steve Gwisdalla is a Dexter resident, the self-appointed leader of the Tribe of Up, and the Owner, Chief Hate Banisher, Vice President of Rescue Cats Playing Together Watcher, and Eternal Optimist at Better Place Consulting, a success coaching firm. If you need help kicking some hate off your balancing scales, reach out to him at

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