Feeding the mouth that bites us

We all know someone who isn’t exactly fond of us. This person would have no valid reason to harm us and we would have done nothing wrong to them. Yet, they make their prime agenda to make things hard for us.

Great people help everyone, even the ones that hurt them. It is an extremely hard thing to be kind to your enemies, at least for me. When someone hurts me, I don’t hate them back; I’m indifferent. My vindictive tendencies comprise solely of not helping my enemies, ever. My mother, on the other hand, is always nice to the people who have caused her nothing but trouble.

Her usual dialogues are, “We aren’t fools for forgiving people. Adjusting shows that we are strong and capable of looking past others’ mistakes. Only if you help people when they need it, you are a good human.” She’d always help the people who hurt her. She wouldn’t say anything that could hurt them during their turbulent times.

I thought that there could be lots of people like my mom in earlier generations, but its hard to find someone like that nowadays. However, I have not one, but two friends with this amazing trait.

What would you do if someone tried to take your job and then lost their job a few days later? You’d feel a bit happy that they deserved it? Feel sad and worry about how that person will go on (I won’t, you might)? Guess what my friend did! She actually tried to get the evil-doer a job.

Another gem of a colleague constantly helps her competitor, knowing well enough that she will receive more back-stabbings in return, instead of gratitude. Her patience and magnanimity always move me and make me want to be a better person.

Inspired by these two lovely ladies and my wonderful mom, I’ve decided to change. Maybe in the near future I too can feed the mouth that bites my hand. Browsing about the topic, I came across some beautiful quotes and Kurals that changed my perspective and encouraged me to help everyone. Here are 3 of them. Hope they inspire you too!

When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That’s the message he is sending.

  • Marcus Aurelius’ quote from his book “Meditations”:

Begin each day by telling yourself: Today I shall be meeting with interference, ingratitude, insolence, disloyalty, ill-will, and selfishness – all of them due to the offenders’ ignorance of what is good or evil. But for my part I have long perceived the nature of good and its nobility, the nature of evil and its meanness, and also the nature of the culprit himself, who is my brother (not in the physical sense, but as a fellow creature similarly endowed with reason and a share of the divine); therefore none of those things can injure me, for nobody can implicate me in what is degrading. Neither can I be angry with my brother or fall foul of him; for he and I were born to work together, like a man’s two hands, feet or eyelids, or the upper and lower rows of his teeth. To obstruct each other is against Nature’s law – and what is irritation or aversion but a form of obstruction.

  • Thiruvalluvar’s kural on how to punish wrongdoers:

இன்னாசெய் தாரை ஒறுத்தல் அவர்நாண
நன்னயஞ் செய்து விடல்.

Translation: Punish someone who wrongs you by doing them such good favors that they become embarrassed for their deeds and the kindness you showed them.

Do check out thirukkural’s chapter on forgiving, “Poraiyudaimai” (Kurals 151 -160).

What are your thoughts on forgiving? Do you have more quotes to inspire others? Share your opinions as comments below!

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