When I was growing up I had an Aunt who epitomized the word, ‘Nasty’. Acid-tongued, she ensured that every family gathering ended with at least one person, if not more, in tears.
As children, we were her favorite targets. She would spot us and zero in on us, spewing every nasty thought she could think of, commenting on our looks, our grades, our habits, and our friends. Her list and vocabulary were endless and she never tired of making us cry.
When I complained to my Mom, all Mom did was let out a sigh and say, ‘Pray for her’. This statement managed to ignite me and I almost always got into an argument with Mom over it. I even went to the extent of asking Mom if she thought she was God, acting all noble. Despite this Mom stuck to her opinion.
When I was old enough to understand Mom explained the reason behind praying for people who wish you ill. People who are unhappy on the inside are nasty on the outside. Now, by happiness, we don’t mean material happiness, like getting the latest gadget or clothes or going for a holiday, or earning a fat pay packet.
Happiness on the inside comes from contentment, from accepting yourself as you are. When you accept yourself, you accept others, just as they are.
You could have the most luxurious life, but when you’re unhappy on the inside that feeling festers and comes through in the form of nasty behavior and words.
So, do such people need your anger or your prayer, asked Mom. Looking at it this way they certainly needed the latter. And if you ask me, sympathy.
When you meet such people and are on the receiving end of their venom, send up a prayer for them wishing them happiness. Doing so is possible and before you know it it will become a habit.
Don’t let their abrasive words get to you. They are hurting on the inside which is why they want to hurt people outside. And you surely don’t want to be like them, do you?