A great teacher once said, ‘Love your enemies,’ baffling not only his audience but also hundreds of millions ever since. How can it be in our own interests to love our enemies? What did he mean by this?
Problems with others usually occur because our own thinking is in error. With no enmity in our thinking, we have no enemies! That’s why Abraham Lincoln observed, ‘Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?’
An adversarial state of consciousness is disempowering. It’s also detrimental to our health. Go within and seek the peaceful side of your nature. If others don’t respond, send them a silent blessing and let it go. Their anger and aggression is their problem.
Be grateful to those who test you
Our so-called enemies are our finest teachers. Aim to make peace with them, whether or not you feel they deserve it.
Eric Butterworth tells of a distinguished writer who visited a Quaker friend. Each evening, they walked to the street corner to buy an evening newspaper. The friend would be cheerful and pleasant, but the news vendor would always respond with a grunt.
The writer commented on this one night. ‘Why are you so nice to him?’ he asked his friend.
The Quaker replied, ‘Why should I let him determine how I am going to behave?’
Be grateful to those who make life difficult, and don’t let them control your behaviour. They are your greatest teachers.
©David Lawrence Preston 7.12.2016
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How to Books, 2007