Deflecting Insults Like A Warrior

We would all like to pursue our dreams peacefully, undisturbed by the people who hate. We would love to believe that all good people receive abundant blessings and all the bad face appropriate justice. Sadly, this isn’t the case. We don’t live in a just world and never was it meant to be. Neither nature nor the laws that govern it care if your heart is pure. Life and the vast universe that supports it are truly impartial, totally unfeeling. No matter how nice we are, some people will try to rob us of our self-worth. Their irrational contempt for us turns them into destroyers, and we can see their handiwork in what makes our society sick: the bullying, the political animosity, the class warfare, and the prejudice based on illness, disability, income level, race, sexual orientation, and employment status.

Even a cruel sociopath, primed with a Machiavellian attitude, can be praised or idolized. These self-absorbed people, almost like a magic trick, can charm the masses, veiling all malicious intent. We’ve learned this from our documented history. Yet in other historic events, a saint, a benevolent human being can live so selflessly and there’d still be people who’d wish him or her harm. These mean-spirited people behave like destroyers. They project their shortcomings onto good people, and they’re terribly unhappy. Even if we’ve achieved a modicum of success, they’d resort to unfair criticisms when describing us. They relentlessly attempt to deny every one of us happiness, because deep down, they are miserable. Though they might not purposely intend to bring down the rest of the world, they often act as if they do because when they break one of us, they seem to revel in their “victory.”

If anyone insults us or belittles us, we need to remember that we need not take a destroyer’s words personally. Their own unhappiness becomes so unbearable that they feel the need to launch an attack on your self-esteem. They want to spoil the pure and taint the innocent. I call them destroyers but at times, they can easily be me or you. Have each of us not felt the world press our cheeks to the dirt and felt the ground fall beneath our feet? Sometimes when we are unhappy, like selfish children, we feel that nobody should be. We can all be so selfish. We can also choose not to behave in such a way. Even if a destroyer throws insults our way, we can choose to understand what they are really saying: I am angry. Consider the insults as tests for our patience. This is how we become warriors. Now imagine ourselves walking in a beautiful world, striving to make it better while destroyers hurl stones at our face. These destroyers think we’re weak; let’s demonstrate what true strength is really like.

Warriors like us have a steadfast hope in the good that resides in everyone. Yes, even in destroyers, can the human heart learn to heal. We can stop being destroyers and learn that vulnerability isn’t so scary, and let the compassion flow through our fingertips and change other beings for the better. So let’s lift each other up out of the abyss of anger we sometimes so hastily dive into. Our primal emotions are strong, but our hearts are stronger. Our negative thoughts are strong, but our ability to discover the truth is stronger. Why not ask ourselves what really motivates us? What’s the true source of our scathing words? Hopefully, by focusing on brotherhood and kindness instead of enmity, we’ll be remembered as people who were a joy to be around and who’ll be sorely missed when gone.

This kindness, though, can be dangerous. It can turn into another competition, which is another trap for us. Trying to be the next Mother Theresa only mocks the heart of a warrior and if influenced by some misguided belief that kindness is a form of weakness, you may think I’m condoning telling white lies. If so, I’ll tell you that you misunderstand authentic kindness. Warriors, who give due respect to all living beings, prefer reality to a fairy tale, and delusions formed to protect our feelings will only waste our time on this planet. Warriors like to build each other up with honesty. If we stop shielding ourselves from the truth, we’re better able to help ourselves, better able to help others, and better able create a world healthy enough to support all the generations to come.