That one I love who is incapable of ill will, and returns love for hatred. Living beyond the reach of I and mine, and of pain and pleasure, full of mercy, contended,
self-controlled, of firm resolve, with all his heart and all his mind given to me – with such a one I am in love
– Bhagavad Gita
In personal relationships, we all get troubled when we do our best to be kind to someone and that person treats us with hostility or ill will in return. This is common in life today, and most of us quickly reach the end of our tether. “I don’t want to see you again,” we say. “I want to get away from you as far as possible!”
All of us have these human impulses. But that is just where the Gita or Jesus or the Buddha would say, “No. That is the way of the timid. That is the way of the weak.” Stick it out: not by becoming a doormat, not by blindly obeying whatever command the other person gives you, but by resolutely refusing to hurt anyone, no matter how much you have been hurt. It is a great art.
Compassion comes with insight into the heart of life, as we see more clearly the unseen forces that drive a person into action. Ultimately compassion extends to every creature.
(From ‘Words To Live By’ by Eknath Easwaran, founder of the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation, copyright 2005; reprinted by permission of Nilgiri Press, P.O. Box 256, Tomales, Ca 94971, www.bmcm.org.)