In the last few weeks, some ugly things have happened to some of my friends – different kinds of bad, but they had the same reaction to their troubles. They behaved with dignity and self-control.
One friend accidentally and unhappily uncovered a nest of ground bees in her yard. She was stung numerous times. Her hand swelled immediately and severely. She could not bend her fingers. Her knuckles disappeared. She was in pain. Did she do what many of us might do and destroy the nest? No, she did not. She knew the bees reacted from fear and instinct; she did not have to rely on that. She honored her ability to be reasonable and compassionate. She ceded that part of her garden to the tenant bees, until they decide to relocate.
Another friend was subjected to an unfounded, dishonest, and public vitriolic diatribe. He could have responded with equal venom, more eloquence, and the righteous truth on his side. He did not. He chose not to lower himself to the level any reaction to the hatefulness would have necessitated. He respectfully resolved the concerns of the innocent bystanders and he ignored the liar.
What matters is not how we are treated; it is how we treat others.
One is who they are; the other is who we are.
My friends are exquisite human beings.