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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Understand. Forgive. Love.

It is considered natural to rise in defense or take offense when someone offends you. But another response is possible: Give forgiveness, love and understanding to people that offend you.

Does this sound difficult? Well, it really is not. Consider this: in the first place, you are offended because you allowed yourself to be offended. In that state when the offensive emotion has penetrated the deep recesses of your mind, agitation begins to brew. When you are agitated, you cannot think with clarity. Forgiveness, love and understanding, therefore seem impossible and impractical at this time. But what if you refuse to get offended? Sure enough, there's a way. Try these three easy steps: 1. Don't respond mindlessly, belligerently. Be aware of the so-called offensive remarks coming your way. And like a turtle would withdraw into its shell so that it remains secure, withdraw all defense mechanisms. 2. Respect the right of the other person to have an opinion, any opinion, that is different from you. 3. Smile. Accept the reality. Kill the urge to think 'how-dare-you?' and respond instead with an 'aha!' feeling in you. Wish the person who's trying to offend you all success. Convert the problem situation into a game. Play it! What if the offender was on Reality TV with you and the game was 'Who-Barks-Least-Wins?' And the prize money was worth millions. Play the game in that spirit. Like in any sport, practice makes perfect. So it is in this. Very soon, after a few attempts, you will reach a stage where you will be a World Champ and the peace, joy and bliss, that will follow will be worth more than all the money there is in the world!

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