Become unencumbered by the ill-intended words and behaviors of others. What they do has no meaning aside from what we give them. They are like arrows directed toward us that always fall short of their target. It isn’t until we decide to pick them up and repeatedly stab ourselves with them that they create pain and suffering. Why do we do it?
The world is filled with those who retaliate against the perceived wrongs of others–perpetuating the cycle of violence and inviting yet more retaliation in return. Do we somehow really believe that at some point the other party will be convinced by our violent approach? That they will somehow come to see the light of day and the error of their ways. Or, do we do it because we get a vicarious thrill from the battle? Like animals who fight for dominance over others to prove their worth through physical might.
What a waste of time, energy, and attention. What a waste of life. Worse yet, what a waste of possibility. Whatever part of our lives we put into conflict with others we divert away from the possibilities that may have been created through more noble activities in service to others.
Hurt people, hurt people. We can be about healing the hurt rather than adding to it.
Instead of being lured into fighting back, be willfully burdened by the power to accept, love, and serve others–especially those who strike out in anger against us. Could it be that the highest form of love is to find a way to be of service to those who are the source of our suffering–to turn them into our teachers?
How much of our lives would be better lived, if we focused our energies on doing good for others? If we made the deliberate choice to not engage in retaliation but instead made the conscious and courageous choice to be compassionate–to become encumbered by the difficulties of others and to help alleviate their suffering, how much better might we help the world become?