How to love your enemy

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I am not really sure if it is a poem. You can call it anything you want. But this really hit me.
Artwork by David Mihaly

HUMMING IN MY UNIVERSE – Jim Paredes (The Philippine Star) – June 24, 2018 – 12:00am
I thought that visiting some of my favorite sites on the net might be a good way to be inspired to write my column this week. I remember saving a screenshot of a page I had encountered on the net years ago. When I reopened it last night, I was again struck by it.

I am not really sure if it is a poem. You can call it anything you want. But this really hit me.

It talks about love, especially how to love your enemies. I like poems, quotes, stories, passages and essays that deal with the harder issues of life. They make me feel more inspired to expand my understanding of the human condition.

For sure, all of us have a few people we secretly wish ill-will on. We disdain and ridicule them. We hate them because of what they had done to us. They have become targets of our hate. We see them as lower than us. These are people we know who want to hurt us or may have actually done so. They have insulted threatened and humiliated us. And often, we dream of the day when karma will bring us face to face with them and we will have the upper hand and we can administer personal revenge in the name of justice.
When I read this, I felt that it cut beautifully into my heart. I thought I should share it with you my readers. Read on.

Another way that you love your enemy is this:

When the opportunity presents itself for you to defeat your enemy,

that is the time which you must not do it.

There will come a time, in many instances,

when the person who hates you most,

the person who has misused you most,
the person who has gossiped about you most,

the person who has spread false rumors about you most,

there will come a time when

you will have an opportunity to defeat that person.

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Artwork by Richard Day

It might be in terms of a recommendation for a job;

it might be in terms of helping that person

to make some move in life.

That’s the time you must do it.

That is the meaning of love.

In the final analysis,

love is not this sentimental something that we talk about.

It’s not merely an emotional something.

Love is creative, understanding goodwill for all men.

It is the refusal to defeat any individual.

When you rise to the level of love, of its great beauty and power,

you seek only to defeat evil systems.

Individuals who happen to be caught up in that system, you love,

but you seek to defeat the system.

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote this. It is a testament to how evolved a man he actually was. Amid all the hatred, discrimination and injustice that surrounded him practically all his life, he had the kindness of heart and the wisdom to not just write something so beautiful like this but to actually live it.

It makes me want to kneel in awe. How can strong people not fight back and do revenge or justice? And yet, he tells us not to. Nelson Mandela was also able to overcome his painful past which was full of injustice and racism. He suffered a lot. But he needed to learn this to lead a racially polarized nation. How did he do it? I don’t know but it takes extraordinary character to be able to rise above personal feelings.

I hope someday when I meet the people I loathe and wish ill will on, I can summon the better of me to be more loving.

It doesn’t count too much when we only love those who love us. That is so easy to do. The real evolved human beings must rise above personal feelings to be able to dispense love to their tormentors because that is actually what they need. This is what it means to love; it means learning to love the unlovable, the ugly and respect even the despicable ones in our midst.

Surely karma will kick in at some point. And that is what we call divine justice, and we hope it really happens to those who have hurt us. But at the same time, we also need a greater consciousness and compassion to stop thinking like this. Let karma do what it must without us having to relish their defeat. Otherwise, we as humans will remain stuck in this cycle of hate forever.

Are you ready? How many of us can say yes right now?

As for me, I am open to the concept. It sounds good and right. But to actually practice it, I need to evolve a lot more.


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