We are bitter, angry people with empty lives:
Reader Email: “99 percent of the people who do something negative toward us don’t even merit our attention.”
Date: January 17, 2009 10:31:44 PM EST
Subject: Turn the Other Cheek
Most religions throughout the world espouse pacifism as a major foundation of their beliefs. In simple terms, “turn the other cheek” means walk away. Plenty of people will do things to us throughout our lives that we won’t like. However, if we were to take issue with every single one of them we’d be in constant battle with all of them. From a religious and spiritual standpoint, you should walk away from these conflicts in order to avoid the temptation to sin. Think about it. You’d like to get back at your detractors for posting those hateful remarks about you. In some religions just thinking of getting even qualifies as a sin. Also, if you dwelled enough upon it, some day you might be compelled to act out on your desires. In either case, it wouldn’t be good for your soul.
“Turn the other cheek” has more practical applications in our everyday life than the religious or spiritual ones. Absolute pacifism doesn’t work in the real world. You can’t walk away from every fight. In life, you have to learn to pick your battles. Some are just not worth fighting. Sure, what these people post about you is hateful and wrong, and you’re correct in taking offense to it. Yet, do they really matter? Is what they say important to you? Frankly, it does you no good to pay attention to your detractors. What do you gain from it, other than grief? Does it feel good to be angry all the time?
If you allow every single negative thing someone does to you to affect you, then you will be a very bitter, angry, and perhaps even violent person. When you think of it, 99 percent of the people who do something negative toward us don’t even merit our attention. The person that cut us off in traffic, the obnoxious boss, the rude waiter, the annoying coworker–what do they matter in the scheme of things? Other than your interactions with them, you don’t give these people more than two seconds of thought in a day. Your detractors fall in the same category. These are people you don’t even know. They have no meaning to you. They don’t matter. Why do you allow them to affect you? Why waste your time being angry at them or caring about what they say?
You can choose to be angry at these people. You can even choose to lash out at them through one of your posts. However, keep in mind that when you do, you lower yourself to their standards. You prove yourself to be no better than they are. Is that what you want? Is that what will make you happy? Remember, your detractors behave the way they do because they are angry, bitter people with empty lives. They try to bring you down because they’re jealous of you, of your life, and what you have accomplished. They wish they could be you. That’s pathetic, and every time you aspire to get even you aspire to be exactly like them.
Revenge is never a good thing. It darkens our soul, makes us bitter, and keeps us angry. It’s best not to engage in it, especially when it comes to petty things and meaningless people.
The next time someone posts a derogatory message or sends you a nasty e-mail, ignore it. More than likely they want your attention. They want you to lash out and post them on your blog so they can have their fifteen minutes of fame and the satisfaction of knowing they hurt you. Next time, do yourself a favor, pay them no attention, and turn the other cheek.