HATE was a word not permitted as part of our vocabulary when we were growing up.
Our mother refused to tolerate it.
"You might dislike someone intensely but you don't hate anyone," she'd say.
It made life difficult for the middle one in a family of four children.
In a house half the size that six people today would expect to occupy, space was always at a premium.
My brother - the only boy - spread his wings in his own room big enough for his fossil collection and the various bits of dead animals and birds that found their way under his bed to be studied later.
Three girls crowded into the second of three bedrooms meant that the language was often volatile.
When my elder sister left home and the two of us left actually had half a bedroom each, it was worse.
We fought so hard over the space that my mother arrived one day with a paint brush and carefully drew a demarcation line down the middle of the room.
I learned about my mother's opinion on hate while standing on one side of the demarcation line, screaming at my sister, "I hate you".
She'd probably rearranged my books or borrowed my pencils.
"I dislike you intensely" didn't have the same feeling of satisfaction to it as the hate rave, so mum won.
We love to hate, don't we?
People hate movie stars.
We hate the Australian cricket team when it is losing - which is most of the time at the moment.
We hate John Gay who used to run failed Tasmanian company Gunns Ltd, presumably because he persisted with a project that part of the community didn't want.
If you hadn't noticed, there's been a federal election campaign going on for a few weeks.
Politics, like the weather, has become for a moment a robust conversation.
I was walking along the street in front of a group deep in discussion the other day when one voice burst out, "I hate Tony Abbott".
It sounded so angry that I had to turn around to see who so intensely disliked the federal Opposition Leader.
It wasn't Prime Minister Kevin Rudd or even federal Greens Leader Christine Milne.
And I wondered how a person could so vehemently dislike someone whom they had never met.
A few days later the taxi driver bringing me to work asked how I was going to vote in tomorrow's election.
I mumbled something standard about how it was difficult to decide and, like everybody else, I'd be pleased when it was over.
Then felt ashamed with my ambiguous answer when he agreed, seriously, that it was "very difficult".
He was once a refugee who had been living in Tasmania for a few years and had just become an Australian citizen.
Tomorrow will be the first time that he has been able to vote in an Australian election.
He had tried hard to find out about the policies of the various parties so that he can make a reasoned decision and was frustrated that the presidential style of election focussed on the leaders of the two major parties was getting in the way.
He reminded me about the extraordinary danger that people in other countries face just to exercise their right for an independent vote.
It's not many decades ago that Australia's Aboriginal people and women were permitted a vote.
So when you are in the ballot box tomorrow, sharpened pencil hovering over the list of candidates, spare a thought for my mother and put hate aside.
Don't vote for Pirate Party Australia out of spite because you hate Kevin Rudd or Tony Abbott.
Consider the policies and people behind the leaders and choose carefully who you think will do the best job for the country.
Value your vote.