Turn the other cheek
What is the most common response when someone you are engaging with reacts in a sarcastic, angry or threatening manner? The most common of all responses is to re-join in kind. That’s what they call, “Eye-for-an-eye, tooth-for-a-tooth,” response.
There are several outcomes when that response is employed. Most of them are not positive.
There’s another old proverb, born in the same stable as the eye and the tooth one, that being, “Turn the other cheek.”
The problem with eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth maxim is, they would result in a world that’s blind and toothless, as someone said.
In contrast, turn the other cheek results in outcomes that are majorly positive, however, not necessarily for reasons you may be thinking about, dear reader.
Say you go into a motor vehicle registry store. It could be any store or instrumentality but we’ll use a motor registry as most folks world over have experienced being in one at some point.
So there you are, having a nice day and the person across the counter from you isn’t. They are sullen, passively aggressive, and downright inimical. All of a sudden you have a choice to make. Instinctively you know that if you slip into your ruthless narky mode this poor bugger will be proverbial mincemeat quicker than you can say, ‘meet the jackass whisperer, cranky pants.’
As tempting as meeting anger with equal or greater anger may be, doing so will produce actions and reactions that only serve negative ends, because to say that for every action there is a reaction, is an absolute. Generally the reactions are of a similar if not identical quality.
Meeting someone on their level of unpleasantness is the eye for an eye— you brace, absorb their attack, then return serve twice as hard. It may feel good in the short term, but you know what really happens with that style of response? You destroy your own peace and harmony and by so doing prove that you are not better than they are. It takes one to recognize one. If you complain about their behavior you are in fact being a hypocrite.
Consider now turning the other cheek option. But with a twist. Instead of actually offering the other cheek to be smacked you respond with a ‘cheek’ of calmness and detachment. You become a bright diamond with an out of this world glow.
That is what being a watcher, and observer of life and mind is. That is what being free of self-hate is.
As for the other person, his or her experience will be profound, although the depth and the intensity of the event may not necessarily be felt at the time.
When their appetite for anger and abuse is not fed and their perceived worthlessness not reinforced, their belief foundations will be shaken, the result is often inner turmoil, tears and substantial anxiety, as stated above very likely sometime later.
This inner turmoil leads to deep self-questioning. Values and ways of living that have served well up until then no longer do. Spiritual instability has arrived. It is spectacularly beautiful, yet it is not yet seen as such.
You see, dear reader, there is no need to say or do anything. All that is required is to BE.