The person whom you believe is your enemy is really a good being like you, deserving your kindness, friendship, and love. So why not make the effort to love your so-called enemy, says OSWALD PEREIRA
Patrick, you should hate alcohol; it’s your worst enemy,” exclaims the village priest, Father John, as he sees Patrick staggering out of a tavern.
“But Father, doesn’t Jesus say that we must love our enemies?” quips Patrick.
“Jesus asked us to love our enemies, but he never meant we should drink them up,” Father John says, smiling.
This incident seems like a nice joke. But it isn’t really funny, because the joke could be on you. When you hate your enemy, it does more harm to you and your health than to your so-called enemy.
Hatred, resentment, enmity and anger lead to hypertension, heart ailments, ulcers and more.
Nelson Mandela points out that resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies. To make peace with your enemy, you have to work with him; then he becomes your partner, adds Mandela.
“There’s something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So love your enemies,” said Martin Luther King Jr.
Before you indulge yourself in unbridled hate for your enemies, understand why you have reached rock bottom in your relationships. Ask yourself why you have so many enemies. Is it the fault of your enemies or are you the one to blame?
In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says, “One who is equal to friends and enemies, who is equipoised in honour and dishonour, heat and cold, happiness and distress, fame and infamy, who is always free from contaminating association, always silent and satisfied with anything, who doesn’t care for any residence, who is fixed in knowledge and who is engaged in devotional service—such a person is very dear to Me.”
Just think. If only we did some introspection, we would realise that our enemies are a creation of our mind that is full of ego, envy, anger, resentment, bitterness and hatred. And the result? The result is nothing but a world full of enemies. It’s like a prison we have created for ourselves.
When Mandela was released from prison after 27 years, he said, “As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew that if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”
To come back to the Gita, Krishna says, “One who is not envious but is a kind friend to all living entities, who doesn’t think himself a proprietor and is free from false ego, who is equal in both happiness and distress, who is tolerant, always satisfied, self-controlled, and engaged in devotional service with determination, his mind and intelligence fixed on Me—such a devotee of Mine is very dear to Me.”
When you understand that you are capable of earning God’s love, then you’ll love yourself; from this state of mind will spring love for all beings. Then you’ll see that it is not in your nature to hate.
You’ll realise the person whom you believe is your enemy is really a good being like you, deserving your kindness, friendship, and love. So why not make the effort to love your so-called enemy?