Topic #81: Go to your drafts folder and finish an old post. So here is the oldest of my blog’s draft posts, goes way back to April 10, 2010. This was meant for parents, but now serves all.
Acting with kindness strengthens all. The Buddha says carrying anger in your heart is like carrying a hot coal in your hand. You are the one it hurts most.
One of my more favorite stories from a violence prevention training I took tells of a woman trudging home at night from the grocery store when she heard footsteps coming quickly up behind. She turned and came face-to-face with a young man of different color.
She held her grocery bags out to him and said, “Thank you so much for coming to help.” He grabbed the bags and quietly followed her to her door. She kept up a friendly chat and at the door thanked him.
“This wasn’t what I had in mind, but you are welcome.” he replied and walked away.
She didn’t kill the young man with kindness, she appealed to his better self and that is always an act of kindness.
My mother often recommended killing with kindness. “Doesn’t hurt you and confuses your enemy. ” My father didn’t think it was his job to seek revenge. so he also tended to responded affronts with kindness or by ignoring them. He was not, however, immune to thoughts of revenge for as he explained his stance, “Life will do them in,why should I bother.”
To me the title of the book–which I haven’t read–speaks to the very deep seated part of our beings that instinctively wants to respond to hurt with hurt. We fight back when we can and in times of extremity that is a life-saving tactic. Moreover, the woman described above might still have ended up mugged. Part of my Emotional Fitness Training includes doing a reality check before acting. Feel, think, and then act.
As children are prone to feeling, acting, and then thinking, parents need to teach kindness as a better way. They might find the attached article of interest and might want to explore the book that promotes killing with kindness.
As for me, I enjoy kindness and knows it strengthens me. And yes, I am sometimes quite comforted when someone who has hurt me repeatedly has to deal with a life blow not of my making. Restores my hope there is justice in the universe. Stay strong, I’m trying.