“Use Kindness as Your Best Revenge”

Use kindness as your best revenge

If someone does something which hurts you in some way, respond with kindness. We all face situations in which we feel victimized, whether physically, in a particular relationship, or in general socially. Try to cultivate a sense of internal awareness. Notice that you are feeling victimized and give yourself space to feel what you are feeling. Then choose your action. Try to transform your self-pity or anger into self-nurture and kindness toward yourself and others. This requires emotional strength, as you must accept and handle your own hard feelings and then choose to act compassionately.

In Dan Millman’s book The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, he tells the story in which his teacher, Socrates, uses martial techniques to defend both of them against a knife attack on the street. When Socrates has the 3 men on the ground in pain, he then carefully tests each one’s pulse and vital signs to make sure they will survive. Socrates’ response is appropriate for the situation: he protected himself and his apprentice, but he did so in the kindest way possible toward his attackers. In so doing, he diffused the violence while also acknowledging the value of those men as people and their capacity for transformation.

Sometimes compassionate action means walking away from a given situation and letting it go of the need to be right. Imagine how the other person is going to respond of you continue to push your point, even if you feel you are right. If you still struggle to let go and the argument is becoming toxic, it can be useful to try to convince yourself that you “win” if you simply walk away.
Acting from compassion means recognizing oneself in others. Even if you cannot let go of feeling attacked, your best tool toward those you feel threatened or limited by is compassion. In the case of social inequality, it is important to recognize that our culture isn’t working for anyone, the powerful and the disempowered alike. “Perpetrators” of hate crimes or environmental abuses are traumatized just like the rest of us.

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