Loving our enemies: Is it possible?

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Jesus Christ taught that we should not only love those who love us, but we should also love our enemies, too!

He said: “But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which spitefully use you, and persecute you”. (American King James Bible)

Things You’ll Need:

  • Humility, Grace, Forgiveness
  • Love, Truth, Hope
  • Faith, Trust, Virtue
  • Discipline, Patience, Understanding
  • Purity, Honesty, Integrity
  • Divine Help, More Divine Help

Is such a thing really possible?
Can we really learn how to love those who obviously do not feel much love for us? If someone causes us wrong in some way, is it within us to just forgive and forget, through genuine love?

I believe it is; but I don’t believe very many of us will ever really know how, unless we are willing to swallow a whole lot of stuff we’re now chomping on. Things like vengeance, anger, hatred, retaliation, retribution, compensation, payment, greed, cut-throat tactics, selfishness, death and destruction, wars, ethnic cleansing, and so on. Doesn’t seem possible, does it?

How is it possible?
All things are possible, it’s just that some take more work and commitment than others, as I see it. I remember Isaac Asimov writing that “violence is the last resort of the ignorant”, meaning – I presume – that the NON-ignorant would NEVER resort to violence; but only the ignorant would.

We call ourselves an educated, civilized, modern society; and rightly so. We are, indeed, well educated, generally speaking, and we are civilized – that is, we’re civilians going about our business with fairly smooth motions, most of the time – and we are modern, technologically, anyway.
How is it then, that we frequently find ourselves resorting to that which is supposed to be only a last resort of those who are NOT well educated, civilized and modern?

Do we know ourselves?
Do we really think that vengeance or anger or malice or revenge or payback, or any of those similar responses we tend to favor, can bring about very much in the way of positive results? Yes, they might result in new laws that further restrict freedom and liberty, but such laws only perpetuate more of the same, ad infinitum.

Where to begin?
As always, such things begin with “me”. That’s “me”, ME, and “me” YOU, and “me” OTHERS.

It is difficult to think of squelching that sense of anger or vengeance we’re so used to flying off at about any number of triggers. Or, suppressing that feeling to smack someone because they somehow treated us with disrespect. And there are so many more like that.

But…it can be done. Others have demonstrated that it can be done throughout history. For example, besides Jesus Christ and other similarly significant religious figures, people such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi, Mother Teresa, and many others have left legacies of just such behaviors, many of them giving their lives for the promise of a brighter future for generations coming afterward.

What about terrorism, wars, and such?
Nobody likes to think of terrorism; for anyone, anywhere. Likewise, nobody is likely to be very ready to forgive those who would convey terrorism upon anyone, anywhere. Those who do such things are certainly enemy to their victims, and such victims have every right to feel how they do.

And, when the rest of us not so closely affected see the pain and suffering, the losses, the damages, the pure hatred that makes such things even thinkable; we, too, are going to feel normal, human feelings of anger, hatred, revenge, and the like. No question about it. But, it is how we actually REACT to those feelings which will make the difference, going forward.

In my opinion, if we react in similar ways to what was conveyed upon us, we only really serve to bring about more of the same kind of ugly death, destruction or damage that made us so mad to begin with.

If we learn to react with more humane – rather than human – behaviors, we might begin to bring about a new sense of awakening to a stronger, more positive power which has the capacity to bring TOGETHER, instead of break apart; to UNITE, instead of untie.

It is within all of us to learn such positive responses and reactions, and it is freely available to those who seek it diligently and earnestly. To whole-heartedly embrace such noble and unselfish goals is to embrace the possibility of nothing less than the promise of World Peace!
May God help us all!

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