Turn Anger into Loving-Kindness
LIFE'S ESSENCE - Katherine R. Oyson (The Freeman) - June 23, 2019 - 12:00am

Rissa Singson Kawpeng, in the book “Didache 2015,” shares a story:  “were two monks who lived together. Year after year, they were the only two inhabitants of their monastery. Not once have they gotten into an argument. One day the younger monk said, “We have such a peaceful coexistence. Maybe, we should fight now.

“The older monk replied, ‘Okay, so what will we fight about?’ ‘How about this,’ said the younger one as he placed their only loaf of bread between them. ‘This is the only food we have left. Let’s fight about this.’ Then he grabbed the loaf and said defiantly, ‘This is mine!’

“The older monk answered, ‘Okay, you can have it.’ And their peaceful coexistence ensued.”

Kawpeng said, “The story is simple, but the lesson is clear. Even if someone wants to pick a fight with you, the squabble ends if you don’t fight back. Proverbs 20:3 says: “It is to one’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.”

I am reminded of an acquaintance who was fuming with anger when a friend of her husband did not pay his debt on time. She wanted to sue him in court. I told her that it would be better to give him a chance because after all we are just passing through in this world. And it would be nice if she would just be kind and maintain their harmonious relationship. I was glad that what I said touched her heart. She regained her composure and said, “Thank you.”

Charles Dickens once said, “Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.”

Leslie Ralph, at tinybuddha.com, states: “All of us have been hurt or angered by someone’s words at some point. Some words are blatantly cruel, and others are deceptive. When we’ve been hurt, we might try to get rid of the feelings by distancing ourselves or fight back. When we are hurting or angry, loving-kindness can be especially challenging.”

Ralph suggests that we should practice loving -kindness for the good of our soul. Here’s how to do it:

• Have a heart that never hardens. Loving-kindness involves wishing peace, joy, and tenderness for others. It means celebrating success, easing suffering and cultivating feelings of friendliness and affection.

• Have a temper that never tires. When we lose our temper, we say and do things that we don’t mean. We can lash out, blame, and deny. Losing our temper doesn’t just harm those around us but also ourselves. We can experience regret and shame after losing our temper. Loving-kindness allows us to recognize our anger and breathe warmth and peace.

• Have a touch that never hurts. Having a touch that never hurts refers to both physical and emotional harm. Certainly our hands can be used as weapons, but so can our words and actions. Use your touch for healing, not hurting. Reach out to hold the hand of someone you care about. Use your hands to build or create that can help you cultivate loving-kindness, instead of causing pain to others.

LOVE
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