Thursday, March 28, 2013

Remaining gracious in the face of rudeness

It is hard to remain gracious when people do things which are insensitive at best and unkind at worst but perhaps therein lies the lesson - learning to resist being pulled down to the same base level and remaining compassionate in the face of rudeness and sometimes, cruelty.

It's easy to do the right thing when people are nice to you and  act with consideration and courtesy, and so much harder when they are not.... but therein lies the spiritual path which lives love and doesn't just talk about it.

It is a practice which is important not just with those who play a major part in your life, but with everyone you meet. It's a spiritual workout where your 'love muscles' will just grow stronger. Although it will probably take years of practice.

I read the following story a long time ago and have just found it:

There was once a newspaper vendor who had a rude customer. Every morning, the Customer would walk by, refuse to return the greeting, grab the paper off the shelf and throw the money at the vendor. The vendor would pick up the money, smile politely and say, Thank you, Sir. One day, the vendors assistant asked him, Why are you always so polite with him when he is so rude to you? Why don't you throw the newspaper at him when he comes back tomorrow? The vendor smiled and replied, He can't help being rude and I can't help being polite. Why should I let his rude behavior dictate my politeness?


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