What’s our natural reaction when someone wrongs us? Is it anger? Annoyance? Frustration? Why do we seem to want to return the negative feelings we harbor in kind? In the moment, we feel validated to talk about the neighbor that said something snarky, or to hold a grudge against the person who mistreated us, or to express our exasperation with a difficult situation.
But these reactions do nothing but make things worse. They are poison. Poison to ourselves and to those around us. And what’s scary is that these reactions are becoming more and more acceptable! We feel justified to wrong those who wrong us, or to harm those who harm us, or to bad-mouth those who bad-mouth us. And no one would blame us for doing that.
But what if we traded in our reaction of spewing poison with a response that supplied a remedy? What if, when someone wronged us, we responded with kindness? Or when someone came at us in anger, we came back with compassion? Or when someone acted out of hate, we acted out of love? How might someone respond differently if their every action was met with grace?
In a world where we seem to be moving further and further apart, the way forward will be for us to move closer together. It will require us to look for the redeeming qualities of others. It will require us to see our enemies as our allies. And it will require us to buck the trend of disparaging those who disparage us.
So, when someone wrongs you, what will you do differently to show them you’re looking for a solution? What will you do differently to supply a remedy?