Monday, February 22, 2016

Turn the other cheek

The definition of- turn the other cheek
  1. 1.
    refrain from retaliating when one has been attacked or insulted.
“Turning the other cheek” is not blanket acceptance of brutality. It is a strategy for motivating others to change. If you meet evil with evil and blow for blow, the cycle of vengeance will never end. The twenty-first century “War on Terror” is going to become the latest example of this forgotten lesson if its strategy remains “slaughter those who slaughter.” Violence will beget violence unless someone is strong enough to rise above.
Nelson Mandela knows how “peaceful subversion” works. It doesn’t happen quickly. It takes an inordinate amount of courage and character. For Mandela it took 27 years in a prison on Robin Island. But eventually the Apartheid’s treatment of black South Africans brought them universal shame. The world could no longer allow the Apartheid to continue its reign after witnessing so many stark examples of extreme brutality and injustice. Mandela and the resistance did not fight back. They did not silently submit to an existence of inhumane treatment. They stood up. They raised their voice. They took it on the chin and in so doing demonstrated the inhumanity of their aggressors. An entire country is different because they did.
In our day-to-day, it may mean responding with kind and selfless words when a boss has come on the attack with accusatory and thoughtless one-liners. You follow up his attack with a stop by his office where you compliment his demonstrated strengths. You show him how to empower someone thoughtfully so that he sees the contrast between his diminutive assault and your perceptive edification.
You don’t fire back with a cheap shot.
You step back into his space with love. He may just fire away again, but he might also become aware of his heartlessness.
Don’t expect it to work immediately. It took Nelson Mandela 27 years in prison.

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