I lifted this from a blog that I follow! I am working diligently on this every day! People hate, but I don’t have to be like them! I want to live a life that is full of love! Full of forgiveness! Full of UBUNTU! (*Look it up if you don’t know what it means—and no, it’s not the software—it’s the philosophy).
About every twentieth comment on this blog, somebody says something sharp or harsh. Often it’s insulting to me, personally. And I’d be lying if I said it didn’t bother me. I do go through all the comments and manually approve them. I do this about three or four times each day. I’d say I let 95% of the comments go through. The only comments I report to spam are comments that are mean spirited. When comments get mean spirited, people just stop visiting the blog, so I pull those out.
That said, I encounter a lot of comments that are directed at me, personally, and can get quite insulting. A year or more ago, these bothered me a lot more than they do now. Sometimes I’d spend ten minutes or more feeling frustrated or even angry. But about two months ago, I realized something that changed my attitude all together. I realized many of the leaders who changed the world learned to love their enemies. Our greatest example, of course, is Christ. And Tolstoy learned from Christ and then Ghandi and Martin Luther King and so on. If a leader doesn’t learn to love his critics, his critics will destroy him. Or really, the leader will destroy himself through his built-up bitterness. So now, when I get criticized, I literally process the criticism as a blessing. I feel like it’s God’s way of giving me a little education, a little practice at being like Christ, like Ghandi or King. And believe me, loving your enemy takes practice.
People who lead get criticized, period. You are being criticized because you have not been silent and you have not been passive and that’s a good thing. When somebody criticizes you, it’s a compliment of sorts. Passive people avoid criticism.
When you get criticized you are given the opportunity to show kindness in return, which is a character trait of some of the greatest leaders in the history of the world. In other words, you are being thrown a knuckle ball that few batters can hit, but you can hit it, and sooner or later, people are going to be amazed at how well you hit the knuckle ball. If nobody criticized you, you’d never be given the opportunity to return kindness to an insult, and thus never be given the opportunity to shine as a leader.
What this does not mean is that you refuse to take a stand. Loving your enemies and being compliant are two different things. Loving your enemies simply means you want the best for them, not necessarily for their ideas. Your love for your enemy proves the superiority of your ideas, or at least the fruit your ideas generated. And the opposite is also true, unfortunately, your anger and vengeance display bad fruit and undermine the ideas you claim to represent.
So the next time you are insulted, just picture this wandering baseball coming at the plate, and ask yourself if you are going to be able to hit it. The great ones can. And they can, because they practiced.