Love-Indifference-Hate (LIH) Spectrum

Our connections with people teach us a lot about life and relationships. However each of these connections are unique. So I was thinking of a scale or spectrum on which everyone we know can lie. And one way that I could think of is the “Love-Indifference-Hate spectrum” on which all the people we know from family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances to everyone else we know lies. The spectrum can be visualized as follows:

Love-Indifference-Hate Spectrum

The position of a person on this spectrum is based on all their interactions over a period of time. A single event mostly does not have a significant impact on their position. It is a cumulative metric.

This spectrum is unidirectional and asymmetric i.e. for each person, it only shows how others value or perceive the person. Everyone we know lies somewhere on the spectrum and we lie on the spectrum of people who know us. These two are independent and thus the regions where we and other person may lie on each other’s spectrum might be very different. For example, person A may be in the love region of person B whereas person B might be around indifference region of person A!

At the love extreme lie people who deeply care about us and are concerned about us. They are genuinely interested in our well being and will support us in every possible way. They will give real feedback even if it is negative sometimes. For these people, our existence matters…

In the indifference region lie people who interact with us as and when required, in a mechanical way. They do not have any specific bonding or concern towards us. They have a “whatever” or “I don’t care!” kind of attitude with respect to us..

The other extreme is hate. These people might be envious of us and may not always wish well..

Not everyone lies at the extremes of the spectrum. Some people are even placed somewhere in the intermediate regions. For example, between love and indifference lie well-wishers who will support or help if we reach out to them. Similarly in the region between indifference and hate lie people who may just not like us for whatever reasons..

My guess is that most likely, LIH spectrum has a normal distribution. Although it might not necessarily be balanced. Most people lie in the indifference region, very rare are at the two extremes i.e. love and hate and then some are in between.

It is useful to know who lies where on our LIH spectrum. Once we identify who lies in which region, we can intentionally decide how we should interact with them, and where we should position ourselves on their spectrum. Specifically, people in the love extreme are precious! Mostly, if we think of it, there are only a few countable people who lie there. Their presence is invaluable and we must take care of these people. They are like our lighthouse! Sometimes when they don’t act as we wish, it’s okay to let go instead of reacting.. Similarly it is also good to identify people in the hate extreme although it might be harder! It’s okay to consider what they say but not necessarily take it to heart. Also it’s better to show indifference to these people instead of reciprocating with hate.

An interesting point is that we ourself lie on our own LIH spectrum. The most we talk to is ourself! Based on the kind of dialogs we have with ourself and the self affirmations we give, we can ourself be in either of these three regions. Ideally, it is best to be in the love extreme, and to drift slightly depending of different situations. Also i think it might be dangerous if ourself lies in the indifference or hate region of the spectrum for too long. And if one identifies that that’s the case, it’s best to reach out to someone and seek help…

I think LIH spectrum is an scale on which everyone we have ever know lies in a standardized way. It is like a common ground for all our connections. It gives us an idea to perceive who lies where on our spectrum and where we lie on others’ spectrum based on how we choose to interact with each other. It’s like synthesizing all the actions and feeling with respect to a person to a single point!

P.S. – Let me know if someone is interested in designing some experiments and doing simulations based on this idea..

Book Review: The Book Thief


What a book! The book thief by Markus Zusak is a story of a 9 nine year old girl Liesel in Germany during the time of World War II. Strangely the book is narrated by ‘death’. Initially it sounds a bit strange and creepy to see the world from the eyes of death whose job is to collect the souls of the dead. This is what it had been doing since forever. It is tired of doing so and wants a break. But then there is no substitute of death.

I knew about the WWII partially. But this book presents the actual life of the common peasants during those time. One can feel and visualize the hardships faced by the people. Scarcity of basic necessities. Ill treatment of the Jews. Concentration camps. Marches and parades. Horror dreams of the survivors. Watching near and dear ones die in front of one’s own eyes. War times. Death describes how war was very difficult time for it, as it had to collect so many souls of the dead…

The story is about Liesel who is abandoned by her parents to a foster family as they are unable to take care of their children. On the way Liesel watches her brother die and this memory haunts her for a long time. Her foster mother is a short tempered, talkative woman. There is a very beautiful relationship between her foster father and her. He patiently teaches her to read and write, which plays a major role in her life ahead. He is like a pillar of strength and support for her. She is friends with a neighbourhood boy Rudy and they have great times together. Numerous happenings of her life are described like.. Her school life. Football games in the evenings. Helping her Mama in the daily chores. And food of her life – reading. Sometimes the story seems so normal just like a regular day.. But then suddenly there is bombing and war. Probably that’s how even our life is… most of the part is routine life filled with happy and sad times in between..

The main thing which keeps Liesel sane in difficult times is her love for books. Papa teaches her to read and write initially. The progress is slow. But Liesel loves reading and very soon picks up. Together they read the same book multiple times every night. Her passion for reading is so strong that she starts stealing books and is thus called a book thief. Later on she writes her own story in the form of book which ultimately saves her life during WWII. This book shows the power of words on individuals and masses.

The book is about 550 pages. All the charecters are describes so well that they almost come to life in our minds. There is not much of suspense as readers can foresee some of the events (mainly deaths). Still the overall story builds up nicely. I would recommend reading it in a day or two to get the complete feel of the narration. It will make one think about life, death, friendship, love, challenges, hardships, inspirations and much more. More importantly how to find and then hold on to ray of hope in grim times.

“The words. Why did they have to exist? Without them, there wouldn’t be any of this.”

Plea of the Girl Child

I have big dreams in my heart,
I just want a push to start.
I will do everything i can,
Just let me go ahead with my plan.
Don’t pin me down, set me free,
Give me freedom, let me be me.

Give me your guidance and support,
I will be as strong as a huge fort.
Nurture me with love and care,
Even i can be your rightful heir.
Don’t pin me down, set me free,
Give me freedom, let me be me.

I am brave, I am strong,
I can tackle when things go wrong.
I can judge between wrong and right,
So trust me and have faith in my might.
Don’t pin me down, set me free,
Give me freedom, let me be me.

I will be there whenever you need,
With all my love and respect indeed.
Just one chance is all i ask,
To show my competence in my task.
Don’t pin me down, set me free,
Give me freedom, let me be me.

Don’t force me in a cage when i want to fly,
Don’t cut my wings when i want to soar high.
Don’t kill me as i want to live my dreams,
What will be achieved by silencing my screams?
Don’t pin me down, set me free,
Give me freedom, let me be me.