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5/25/2003

 
| God Bless the Assholes. . .

When people speak badly of you, you should respond in this way: Keep a steady heart and don't reply with harsh words. Practice letting go of resentment and accepting that the other's hostility is the spur to your understanding. Be kind, adopt a generous standpoint, treat your enemy as a friend, and suffuse all your world with affectionate thoughts, far-reaching and widespread, limitless and free from hate. In this state you should try to remain.

-Dhammapada


This above is a Hindu teaching; but the Christians have the same teaching of “turning the other cheek” when your enemies attack you. It is very difficult to master.

I am a long way from understanding this universal teaching. I can’t see myself “treating my enemy as my friend” anytime soon. But the path to spiritual enlightenment is a long one. I have my whole life to learn this lesson.

However one thing in the quote stands out for me: ”Practice letting go of resentment and accepting that the other's hostility is the spur to your understanding.”

Basically this is telling us that even assholes can teach us something – in fact, they probably teach us the most in our journey through life.

Think about that jerk in your life. They make your life miserable. They make you bitter and angry; they are fodder for your gossip. But let’s be honest – they are teaching you to be strong in the face of adversity.

When you are working out to build your muscles, you have to use weight resistance to strengthen them. The workout is hard and painful – but it pays off in the long run.

This training also holds true when dealing with people. That punch you get in one cheek may hurt; but by turning it afterward we gain enormous strength.


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