Have you ever been in a conversation with another person and felt upset or disappointed by what they were saying? Maybe they were being arrogant or insensitive or unkind. Perhaps you’ve even experienced such frustration when reading the news.
It is so obvious to us when someone else is not behaving as they ought to be. A part of us would like to help them see the error of their ways, and another part feels the kind thing to do would be to take the high road and say nothing.
But it doesn’t matter what we do or don’t do. What matters is that it matters to us.
In other words, we’ve chosen to judge the other person and then we experience the pain.
A Course in Miracles offers some sage advice in this situation: “Only appreciation is an appropriate response to your brother.” The text goes on to say, “Gratitude is due him for both his loving thoughts and his appeals for help, for both are capable of bringing love into your awareness if you perceive them truly.”
In fact, the Course make it very clear: “All your sense of strain comes from your attempts not to do just this.”
That doesn’t mean when someone is behaving badly we simply ignore it with our head in the sand. What it does mean is that when we can see it not as an attack but rather as a “call for love”, then we can respond in a way that would be loving and most helpful. That very well might be doing or saying something to the other person, but it will be coming from a place of peace – with no judgment and no vested interest in the outcome.