“Never hate your enemies. It affects your judgement.” – Michael Corleone to Vincent Mancini, from The Godfather Part III
(In context, Michael is telling Vinny not to kill a foe, Joey Zasa.)
This quote comes from the third installment of The Godfather Saga, which Michael Corleone is regarded as the Don or Godfather, but I’ll still refer to him as Michael because he will never be a true Don to me.
Hate is a strong word. Though none of us may have hated anyone in particular, I think we have all had some encounter with hate, whether it was seeing hate cause instances in history (the Holocaust) or depicted in a film. The end-products of hate are rarely pleasant for anyone involved. (In the case of the Holocaust, millions of Jews died and Hitler ended up killing himself.) We may have never had enemies, people who have wronged us in such a way to engender hate. However, I think this piece of advice is still considerably relevant to anyone.
Michael is basically telling Vinny to not let his emotions cause him to make irrational decisions. I’m sure we’ve all fought with someone and said something that we wouldn’t have normally said to that person – as Mean Girls puts it, “word vomit.” In the heat of the moment, some things may be said that shouldn’t have been. The impact is irreversible. The word vomit or rash action could lead to extremely undersirable consequences. For example, if Vinny kills Zasa, Vinny’s life is now at stake because Zasa has supporters that would see to Vinny’s death.