“When someone seems to have injured you:
But how can I be sure?
And in any case, keep in mind:
- That he’s already been tried and convicted – by himself. (Like scratching your own eyes out.)
- That to expect a bad person not to harm others is like expecting fig trees not to secrete juice, babies not to cry, horses not to neigh – the inevitable not to happen.
What else could they do – with that sort of character?
If you’re still angry, get to work on that.” – Marcus Aurelius
I’ve observed over the years that judgment triggers a cascade of emotions which impair the capacity for reason. Anger, resentment or the desire to avenge the wrong often surge forth when the door is opened by judgment. Once flowing, they can be terribly difficult to subdue.
The Mayo Clinic offered a fresh perspective on this matter in the lifestyle section of their website. While I’m not sure that the Greek and Roman philosophers (with their distrust of feeling) would agree with the Mayo Clinic’s emphasis on compassion, the power of forgiveness is hard to dismiss, even to the most hardened intellectual.
You do not need to define yourself by the hurts you’ve suffered along the way. To do so is to fail to keep in mind Marcus Aurelius’ sage counsel on the matter. Remember, people judge themselves, so don’t let your surprise or disappointment lead you by the nose into judgment!