Many of the conversations I have had this week with clients and friends have centred on the devastating suicide bombing in Manchester on Monday night. Like so many people, I have wondered how we deal with people who are motivated by hatred. On the other hand, like so many people, I was heartened to see countless individuals around the city immediately offer practical help.
A friend emailed me this quote from the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius:
‘What if someone despises me? Let them see to it. But I will see to it that I won’t be found doing or saying anything contemptible. What if someone hates me? Let them see to that. But I will see to it that I am kind and good-natured to all, and prepared to show even the hater where they went wrong. Not in a critical way, or to show off my patience, but genuinely and usefully.’
In some instances, we are able to have a rational, genuine and useful discussion with someone who has a different opinion to us and may be able to influence them. Other times, if someone is determined to maintain a position of hatred towards another person or group, we will have no chance of changing their minds. To avoid being dragged down by hatred, it seems our best choice of action is to stay true to our values, to not do or say anything contemptible, to be kind and good-natured to all and to stand together.
Today’s pebble for you to ponder: how can you show kindness this week?
ps I am taking a short blog break and will be back online on Friday 9 June.
Turning over pebbles is the blog of Thinking Space Coaching.
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