“People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.” …. -Mother Teresa
That quote is one I love more than I can express. It reminds me that my behavior shouldn’t and can’t be based on what other people do. It must be based on who I want to be, for myself and for God.
I know it probably sounds like a simple thing, but it’s not. It’s hard to not let your behavior be determined by those around you. If someone wrongs you or is unkind to you it is hard not to react or lash back. If someone lies, cheats or steals from you it is hard not to react by wanting to hurt them too. No one likes to be hurt or wronged. It is not a good feeling. Especially if you are hurt by someone you trusted or believed in. That is the hardest kind of hurt to go through. And the more hurt we feel justified to hurt back or do something unkind back. I think in many ways that is a natural reaction and feeling to have as a triggered feeling. But you just can’t give in to that. You can’t give in to reacting in any way that is against your own personal beliefs and values. Because the moment you give in you sink to the level of that other person and that is just not worth it. Sure you might hurt the other person and cause damage to them to – payback right? But then what? You hurt them back but you sold your own soul in the process and now you are left to live with yourself…it’s not fun to live with yourself when you aren’t able to feel proud of who you are. So no momentary joy from “getting even” is worth the lifetime of regret for not acting in a manner consistent with what you believe is right. That is my opinion anyway.
Life is full of people who would hurt you, take advantage of, cheat you, steal from you, lie to you, break promises to you, and all those other horrible things people can do…but life is also full of amazing people who will build you up, lift you when your down, encourage you when times are tough, stand by you when you feel alone, be generous with you, and love you in good times and bad. So my advice is this – avoid the bad people and hang out with the good ones. And when someone does wrong you, still be the best you possible…a you that you can feel proud of…then try and find better people to spend your time with because they are out there and when you find the good ones, hang on to them :).
Have a great day!