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Love is positive, and stronger than hatred. Hatred can always be conquered by love. On the other hand, if you meet hatred with hatred, you simply intensify it. You add fuel to the flame already kindled, upon which it will feed and grow, and so you increase and intensify the evil conditions. Nothing is to be gained by it, everything is to be lost. By sending love for hatred you will be able to so neutralize it that it will not only have no effect upon you, but will not be able even to reach you. But more than this, you will by this course sooner or later be able literally to transmute the enemy into the friend. Meet hatred with hatred and you degrade yourself. Meet hatred with love and you elevate not only yourself but also the one who bears you hatred.

The Persian sage has said, “Always meet petulance with gentleness, and perverse-ness with kindness. A gentle hand can lead even an elephant by a hair. Reply to thine enemy with gentleness. Opposition to peace is sin.” The Buddhist says, “If a man foolishly does me wrong I will return him the protection of my ungrudging love. The more evil comes from him, the more good shall go from me.” “The wise man avenges injuries by benefits,” says the Chinese. “Return good for evil, overcome anger by love; hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love,” says the Hindu.

The truly wise man or woman will recognize no one as an enemy. Occasionally we hear the expression, “Never mind; I’ll get even with him.” Will you? And how will you do it? You can do it in one of two ways. You can, as you have in mind, deal with him as he deals, or apparently deals, with you, -- pay him, as we say, in his own coin. If you do this you will get even with him by sinking yourself to his level, and both of you will suffer by it. Or, you can show yourself the larger, you can send him love for hatred, kindness for ill-treatment, and so get even with him by raising him to the higher level. But remember that you can never help another without by that very act helping yourself; and if forgetful of self, then in most all cases the value to you is greater than the service you render another. If you are ready to treat him as he treats you, then you show clearly that there is in you that which draws the hatred and ill-treatment to you; you deserve what you are getting and should not complain, nor would you complain if you were wise. By following the other course you most effectually accomplish your purpose, -- you gain a victory for yourself, and at the same time you do a great service for him, of which it is evident he stands greatly in need.

Thus you may become his saviour. He in turn may become the saviour of other error-making, and consequently care-encumbered men and women. Many times the struggles are greater than we can ever know. We need more gentleness and sympathy and compassion in our common human life. Then we will neither blame nor condemn. Instead of blaming or condemning we will sympathize, and all the more we will:

“Comfort one another, for the way is often dreary, and the feet are often weary, and the heart is very sad. There is a heavy burden bearing, when it seems that none are caring, and we half forget that ever we were glad.

“Comfort one another with the hand-clasp close and tender. With the sweetness love can render, and the looks of friendly eyes. Do not wait with grace unspoken while life’s daily bread is broken -- Gentle speech is oft like manna from the skies.”

(from: In Tune with the Infinite)


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