reply to post by smithjustinb
Thanks for sharing your experience and honoring the change. I was reminded of an eastern philosophical similitude, in that the reed will endure and
fair better than the stick, because it is flexible and can bend, then returning to it's original flexing. The stick, stiff and resistant cracks and
will break under pressure.
A man is born gentle and weak.
At his death he is hard and stiff.
Green plants are tender and filled with sap.
At their death they are withered and dry.
Therefore the stiff and unbending is the disciple of death.
The gentle and yielding is the disciple of life.
Thus an army without flexibility never wins a battle.
A tree that is unbending is easily broken.
The hard and strong will fall.
The soft and weak will overcome.(Tao Te Ching, LXXVI)
"To bend like a reed in the wind, that is real strength" - Bruce Lee
The weakness you describe, imo could be a result of unhealthy level of ego that so many of us have carried. That impulse is instinctual to a more
primitive state of being, but we are more than that, and the awareness of the difference brings clarity and fuels the effort to maintain balance.
Showing mercy has not ended my life, but filled a void in it and made my life how I think it should be. I still think it is good to be strong, but
preying on the weak and looking for trouble to prove a point is a weakness from where I'm sitting.
The preying on the weak and looking for trouble are more primitive instinctual attitudes, as in the wild, animals will often badger and kill a weaker
member of it's group, serving to keep the genetics optimized to ensure the survival and endurance for the group and species. Though we harbor these
impulses, we can also, and more predominantly, manifest the other end of the spectrum, patience, tolerance, forgiveness and non judgement. These are
all acts of mercy I feel, and not that they should be the only attitude, but when included creates balance for oneself, for others and for general
harmony in day to day life.