An Open Letter to Joe Rogan:

I realised that hate is a reflection. The things we think we loath serve as our greatest mirrors. The hateful things we say tell us more about ourselves than they do about the person we say them about.

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Dear Joe (Joey? Joseph? Giuseppe? You’re right – let’s just stick with Joe),

You don’t know me and you probably never will. Odds are slim that you’ll ever read this, but that doesn’t matter.

I just wanted to say that I’m sorry. Let me explain:



I once hated you Joe Rogan.
The sound of your voice. Your shiny, bald head. The fact I couldn’t watch a UFC highlight without hearing your screams of astonishment and excitement. I hated all of it. I brushed off the people who talked about your pod-cast or stand up comedy. I assumed they were the same borderline retarded individuals that spent their week nights watching Fear Factor (which I hated you for as well). I hated idea of the very stench of you, which assumed would be like stale cigarettes and cat faeces.

This was the kind of arbitrary, empty hate people have towards the Yankees or Lebron James. It transcended reason, and was something in the very core of my being. This was something deep seeded and toxic. You weren’t the only one who I felt this way about, either.

At the time, it didn’t even dawn on me how absolutely ridiculous it was to have such judgemental and negative thoughts towards another person, especially someone I was in a one-way relationship with. I was so lost in my life that I would blindly project my negativity onto someone I didn’t even know.

A few years ago I left my home town and began a journey of self discovery. Like many who begin a journey to find themselves, I’ve come across various Eastern philosophies regarding the self. 

It led me to a Buddhist practice of compassion. In this practice, one thinks of someone they love, then move onto someone they are neutral about, and then finally someone they hate the most. They love, forgive, and find compassion for each one of those people. The practice is designed to get harder with each progression in order to put us outside of our comfort zone. It is a powerful process that allows us to let go of useless and destructive negative energy.

I had slowly become a different person over my travels, and was truly learning to let go of harmful negativity that I had always accepted in my life. When I discovered this practice of compassion, I immediately committed to doing it every morning. Eventually the practice resulted in a painful revelation.

I had slowly worked through the people in my life who I had been holding a grudge against, or had a bad history with. My options were running out. This particular time I had to think of someone I hated, it was you, Joe Rogan.

I couldn’t understand it. It actually bothered me. Why did I hate you so much?

Finally, and somewhat reluctantly, I found the answer. Facing that answer brought a certain peace, and taught me something very important about all of us.


I realized that there was nothing at all that I hated about you.

Your bald head bothered me because I had spent countless hours in my vanity worried I would go bald before I turned fifty. It didn’t define you like I thought it might define me.

The sound of your voice was not unlike my own, which I had always hated for its raspy sound. I hated mine because it was unique. Your voice captured people’s attention, and I was too ashamed to have mine heard.

Being a sweaty athlete as a child and a young adult, I always had a fear of being the smelly kid. I assumed I didn’t smell good, and you were again a reflection of this.

I started to realise you and everyone else I felt negatively towards had always served as a magnifying glass for my own insecurities about myself. When I thought about a person that I hated, whether it was you or my arch enemy from high school who popped into my head, I was actually thinking about myself.

You were chasing the things that knocked your head back. You were exploring all the wonders that caught your eye. You were completely indulging in the authentic you, and I resented that. I hated you because I knew, deep down, that for the past twenty something years I wasn’t doing me. You weren’t anyone but yourself, and I was everyone except myself.

I realised that hate is a reflection. The things we think we loath the most serve as our greatest mirrors. The hateful things we say tell us more about ourselves than they do about the person we say them about. Nelson Mandela once wrote that we must learn to hate; I would add that we must first learn to hate ourselves.

I was afraid to turn my lens of observation inwards, so I projected my hatred onto you. This realisation has been the single greatest catalyst for the vigorous campaign of self-love and acceptance that I’m on today.

So I also wanted to thank you, Joe Rogan. For in my desire to find love and compassion for you, and everyone else I felt negatively towards, I found it instead for myself.

Love and respect,

~MG.

60 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Joe Rogan:

  1. Loved News Radio didn’t care for fear factor. However discovered podcasting and ran across him early in his podcast career his show has entertained me for years and opened my mind to new ideas and ways of thinking. So glad a person like him is there for us keeping it real for anyone who wants to listen. Love him for that and appreciate him helping me get through the day. Thanks Joe!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The last several years of my life have been very difficult and more humbling than I ever fathomed it could be. It’s given me a perspective on things that I am currently incapable of expressing. Potentially, this intangible obstacle could totally be something that only compounds and promotes further negative thinking for me. This idea that anger is a reflection, as a concept, is something I’ve believed for some time yet I’ve been unable to articulate internally to better comprehend. Reading this open letter has brought me some sense of relief and calm. However, I fear (and I don’t understand why I’m afraid, which is further frustrating) has prevented me from attempting to familiarize myself with or pursue altogether this and other practices which could improve my negative perspective on life.

    I began listening to the Joe Rogan Podcast for a short time now and it has been, ignorant as this may sound, therapeutic. It is so overwhelmingly relieving to finally hear that other people (celebrities or just people he finds interesting) do in fact find deception, corruption, and just general douche-baggary unacceptable in this day and age. It has shown me that I am not crazy in my observations that a great deal of the anguish and hate in our society and lives stems from how we treat one another (and thereby inciting others to mistreat and hurt, and then on and on).

    Thanks “MG”, your having made this openly available has been very helpful. Perhaps positivity CAN be as contagious as negativity.

    🙂

    Like

    1. Thanks for such a detailed comment Michael, it’s much appreciated.

      You’re definitely not crazy, and sometimes all it takes is someone articulating things for us before everything clicks.

      Definitely hold onto those positive and hopeful thoughts, they are contagious and they are life savers.

      Be good to yourself brother,

      ~MG

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I was like, Wha? Where is this coming from & where is it going?
    But this is deep, & so true. Your thought-provoking post made me reflect upon myself & the things about other people that stick out & bother me…& why. Very cool. Thanks for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Joe has meant more to me than he’ll likely ever know. I owe a great deal of gratitude to a man I’ve only met once after a comedy show. This is also perhaps the only set of comments I’ve ever seen that’s been entirely positive.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I didn’t know what to expect when I came across this post, and all I can say right now is that I’m very impressed with what I just read.

    Self-reflection really can have an impact in how you view others because it forces you to finally strive to understand yourself.

    Many of my closest friends are Rogan fans, and time and time again I feel happy for taking the time to see what all the fuss is about. This is definitely one such instance 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you KimChee for such a powerful comment.

      I especially enjoy the masterful use of caps lock.

      Though you only needed one word to do it, this comment speaks volumes.

      Be good to yourself, young traveller.

      Like

  6. this is one of the most self indulgent, narcissistic thing’s ive read on the internet… this blows selfies, status updates and food pics out the water. you outright insult someone, someone you’ve never met, so much just because they have their shit together while you’re a hot, pathetic mess….. and now because you admit that that’s what it is, you somehow think you’re on some moral high ground? you may as well just kept this to yourself. lol. are you hoping he’d be proud of you? well whatever, i dont blame you. in the words of your constant reminder you’re a “silly bitch” (a term he frequently uses on the PODCAST to describe people like you) Mr. Rogan, “there’s a wierd thing that happens to people when food is just too easy to come by.

    Like

    1. I’m not sure whether you cannot understand what you’re reading, you only read the first paragraph, at which point you decided that Joe Rogan (who actually retweeted this blog) needed you to come to his defense, or you’re just a self-indulgent, narcissistic jack ass. Either way, you clearly didn’t get the whole point of the article. Leave your needlessly negative comments where someone cares, you silly bitch.

      Like

    2. Hey Ebele,
      Thanks for such an in-depth and insightful comment. For someone who is (accused by you to be) self indulgent and narcissistic, this kind of overwhelming attention is warmly received indeed.

      As mentioned in the post, I completely acknowledge that it was ridiculous and wrong to feel the need to project hatred of any kind onto someone I didn’t know. I also stated that there is nothing at all to hate about Joe Rogan.

      As for the moral high ground, I fail to see a correlation between allegorically providing a lesson to my readers and taking any sort of moral high ground. I admitted I was wrong, and provided the reasoning behind this.At no point did I insinuate I was on high ground of any kind, unless admitting a mistake is considered so.

      As for Mr.Rogan being “proud” of me, it didn’t matter whether or not he even read the letter, as long as the message of love was understood by my readers. What Joe does, or says, or whether he appreciated this letter or didn’t read it, is none of my concern. It was a pleasant surprise that he read it and re-tweeted it.

      As for keeping this post to myself (and I quote”you may as well just kept this to yourself. lol.”), the thirty-five thousand plus (35 000+) people who have read this post and provided overwhelmingly appreciative and positive feedback convinces me otherwise.

      Thanks again for coming to my page to give me so much of your time and energy. It’s greatly appreciated.

      Be good to yourself,

      MG

      Like

    3. Abele I find your comment hypocritically amusing considering “YOU outright insult someone, someone you’ve never met, so much just because they have their shit together while YOU are a hot CONDESCENDING mess.” Your candor in the matter is misplaced and ill-conceived. Attacking an individual who has humbly admitted to being wrong about how he perceives the world around him and has strived to change his negative outlook for the betterment of himself makes you the “silly bitch” my friend. Hell I’m just a redneck from Oklahoma so what do I know….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t care where you’re from, you’re a good man Big Johnson. Thanks for taking the time to read this, and for the insightful nature of your comment in regards to my piece.

        Take care of yourself brother!

        Like

  7. I once had someone break into one of my massage sessions I was giving to a client…a fiery drunk redhead who slurred, “I finally figured out why I hate your f*#king guts!! It is something inside myself I hate about me that you represent!!! I replied, Okay, well I am glad you got that worked out…now please leave…and my client and I had a good laugh about it but it always was slightly disturbing and your letter helped me realize a little of what she went through…but I would still keep an eye on you if I were the Joe’s bodyguard…8^|

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Katryn, haha that’s a pretty funny (and strange) story! She probably went about it in the wrong way, but I assume she must have experienced something very similar to me. It’s never about the people we think we hate!

      And I assure you (and Joe’s bodyguard), just because I moved on from pointlessly hating Joe Rogan (amongst others), doesn’t mean I’m thoroughly interested in his life or his work. I appreciate the lesson I’ve learned and the interest ends there for the most part.

      Thanks for reading and sharing your experience!

      Like

  8. thanks for writing this. i absolutely get what you’re talking about, since i have the same issues. i am capable of hating others so much it makes my head ache. i’ve always had problems with my temper and the way i’ve treated those around me. i always thought i don’t care, what others think or say about me, but as i get older i realise, that that’s not true. i regret a lot of things i’ve said to a whole lot of people, just because i thought i had the right to say whatever the fuck i wanted, without thinking about the consequences. as a result, a lot of friendships ended over the past two decades. i always thought it’s the others, not me. but i’m slowly getting to a point where i have to admit to myself, that they can’t ALL be assholes and that i might be the one with issues.

    anyhow.. your words made me think about all this again. thanks. hate is such a waste of time. s they say, it’s like drinking poison and expecting others to die…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kemal,
      thanks so much for your comment and for sharing all of that with me.

      Don’t beat yourself up over the lost friendships and other regrets you may have about the past. Each one of those experiences taught you something valuable and eventually led you to where you are now.

      But you’re right, hate is such a waste of time and energy in this incredibly short, amazing life we live. Keeping choosing love my friend, and be good to yourself!

      Like

  9. I really expected this article to go towards a realisation that you had no idea who Joe Rogen is. His lime light doesn’t reflect he deep thinking socially challenging person that he is and I was waiting for this article to get that. Instead it was an insightful piece of self reflection that I wasn’t expecting but still completely resonate with. good read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey brother, thanks for the comment!
      Although I know now that he’s a pretty cool dude, I felt like the message might be skewered if I included any reference to that.

      I feel like, at the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter if that person we hate is an awesome person or not, it’s still a reflection of something we’re feeling inside of ourselves, or about ourselves – whether those feelings are socially constructed or not. That hate will always be toxic, whether it is “justified” or not. That was the more important message I wanted to send, along with the importance of self-reflection, of course.

      I’m glad it resonated with you, and you stuck it out and read until the end – I’m assuming a large majority of people didn’t. Thanks again for reading!

      Like

    1. Hey Tom,

      I’m sorry for your disappointment. As a lover of words, I choose mine very carefully. I used the word “retarded” as in its informal sense – as in “foolish”. In the context that it was written, it can be much more logically inferred that this is what I meant rather than the alternative.

      I apologise if you interpreted it in the outdated use as an offensive term towards people with mental disabilities.

      Like

  10. I’m not sure what I was expecting when I clicked on the link to this letter in Facebook, but I’m glad I did it. I’ve known about JR for quite a few years, in all the ways you mention in your letter. While not necessarily a fan of his, I’ve always been at least mildly entertained by him so I was curious to see what you had to say. Reading something like this, filled with positive energy (including most of the comments), was a great way to start my day. Thanks for sharing! I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I had to comment, and I usually don’t, but just had to tell you that I thought this was beautifully done. I have a lot of respect for those who can look inside themselves and understand that not everything they see is going to be pleasant but still keep digging and want to make sense of it all. I’m a Rogan fan and was brought here by his sharing the link but I understand the idea of “irrational 1 way hate” and found this very interesting and something I will think about going forward. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Tom,
      Thanks for the comment and the compliment, but are much appreciated!

      All hate is irrational and, yet, we all drag hate around with us.Recognising it is the biggest step to letting it go.

      Be good to yourself!

      Like

  12. Self reflection is a beautiful thing. Forget what others are saying here, they too are projecting the same insecurities on you as you did to Joe Rogan. I found this because Joe Rogan shared it, so he read it. Best of luck on your future and new found you, life is too short and meaningful to crawl along with no sense of self identity. Cheers brother

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey brother, thanks for your positive comment, it is very much appreciated! Life is extremely short and wonderful, you’re one hundred percent correct!

      Thanks for taking the time to read my piece as well.
      All the best in the future my friend!

      Like

  13. This was an exceptionally thought provoking piece to read. I went through a similar process not too long ago where I had to genuinely sit down and think about why I had such strong dislike for a particular person. It eventually hit me that I disliked the person because I saw so much of the person I wanted to be in them. They had somehow become everything I wanted to be and really annoyed me. It’s now been two years and we aren’t best friends or anything close to that, but I am learning from them. Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, thanks for such an open and honest comment! Glad you’re coming around with one another.

      I definitely think it’s something we all struggle with, at some point in our lives. Accepting that it might be something within ourselves is always hard, but in many ways it frees us from our shackles when we finally do!

      All the best!

      Like

  14. Joe Rogan and his podcast along with the only true love of my life have helped enhance my thinking and improve myself awareness to the point that I am no longer my own greatest enemy but rather actively learning to overcome and love myself so that I can live a more selfless, loving and fearless life. Thanks for the article and the public admittance of your previous faulty thinking because I think that you’ve effectively illustrated how people can learn to overcome themselves and turn a negative into a positive and find inspiration where it’s all too easy to only find jealousy and hatred.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading and the comment!

      I think it’s important that we all learn to control our energy and the things we spend it on! It so much easier to live life from a positive and understanding place!

      best of luck on the path, my friend!

      Like

  15. Interesting read! More psychology should be taught in school so that people would understand projection (the term for what you are writing about) at a younger age. It is definitely helpful to be aware of this basic human defense mechanism.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is absolutely correct! Though I’m not sure what English Comp II is (a high school course perhaps?), I admittedly only made it through one year as a English major in university. I admitted defeat and transferred, obtaining an honours degree in Political Science with a minor in history before I completed law school in my post graduate studies. Unfortunately for my journey it is, in fact, short of an English Comp II class.

      Thank you for such an insightful (and accurate!!!) comment. But more importantly, thank you so much for spending your time and energy reading my words and leaving your thoughts. Much love to you brother!

      Like

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