Mean People

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014


"All cruelty springs from weakness." – Seneca

One morning, I received a phone call from a relative of mine. She was so peeved about a certain person. She talked for about 10-minutes non-stop and believe me when I say that she was really mad. Two words constantly came out, bastos and hambogero. I was not surprised. I told her just to keep calm and not to get so hyped up because the truth was coming out soon. The truth can never be hidden. Be patient I told her.

After the conversation, my wife who rarely says things suddenly tells me: "A person who feels blessed is not mean for he is grateful."

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I could not agree more. When you are happy and content, there is no place for arrogance or violence in your life. When you are grateful for your life, everything that will come out of you will be gratitude and kindness and compassion. But if you have a life that is filled with issues that range from hatred to misery to insecurity then what comes out from you will be hatred, misery and insecurity. They come out in the way you speak, the manner in which you treat people and the attitude you show. What is inside you is reflected in the outward you.

It was no surprise to me that what my relative said about this person. Whenever I hear stories about him I just sigh, Poor, poor man, He cannot help himself really. Perhaps he wants to change but he simply cannot. Or perhaps he does not wish to.

Be kind to the unkind because these people need kindness the most. Beautiful intention really but oh so difficult to do. The irony of it all is whenever we try to help the ones most in need, they are the very one who repels you, who fight you and who reject you. And that can be a very daunting thing indeed. They will say nothing is wrong with them and they are right, they will twist stories and make you the villain, they will do everything to deny. They cannot accept criticism. They think they are always right. They blame every one else except themselves. It is them against you and God help you if you stand in their twisted way. The lessons that life constantly throw at them are constantly thrown away. They never learn because they think they are above every one else.

People who are secure know that they are not perfect and that they need to constantly improve themselves. And because they realize that, they look at all people with compassion. It is like someone who experienced something and someone comes along relating the same experience. If you are the former, you show compassion and latitude, you show understanding and love, you express patience and concern because YOU know how it feels. You realize that all people are on the same journey going to the same place. We just have different roads and loads. Our paths are different but our destination is one. And with that realization we accept and understand and we are grateful.

But for those who are miserable and cruel, for those who are vicious and thoughtless, for those who are arrogant and senseless, these realizations may come at a price. Sometimes people have to be reminded. Sometimes people have to be told again and again and sometimes when they do not listen, something needs to happen so that they will learn.

I was talking with someone recently who told me her experience with some very wealthy people. These rich people were known to be cruel and arrogant. This friend practically cried. I remember telling her, they will learn their lesson eventually and when they do it may be something that all their money cannot buy. All their money will be useless when the lesson is given and perhaps because of that they will finally learn. Let us all learn our lessons so we may be spared of the pain.

Cruelty and arrogance show the misery and despair and weakness of people. Let us show mercy to the arrogant and the cruel for they live such painful lives. They do not wish themselves to be like that, but they are.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 20, 2014.

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