Avoid retaliation to avoid suffering

Suffer in silence

The key to avoiding the malice of others is to refrain from reacting to initial provocations, as retaliating can escalate the situation into a cycle of harm and disputes, leading to greater suffering.

“When one’s ego is hurt,” says a contemporary psychologist, “it turns into super-ego, and the result is breakdown.’ Umair ibn Hubaib ibn Hamsha, in his final days, gave this piece of advice to his grandson, Abu Jafar Alhazmi:

   “One who will not bear the minor evils of a foolish person shall have to bear greater evils from him.”

Both these quotations, although differently worded, imply that there is only one sure way to avoid the malice of others—keep out of the line of fire. 

Every man is born with an ‘ego’, which is normally dormant. Our safety lies in our allowing it to remain so. But if through ill-considered action, it is somehow dealt a blow, it will rear up like a serpent and wreak all kinds of havoc.

It is not uncommon in social living for suffering to be inflicted upon us by mischief-makers and fools. The best way to deal with such situations is to refrain from reacting to the initial hurt, which frequently, at that stage, is not particularly severe, for if we promptly retaliate, the troublemakers will be provoked in turn, and there will be no end to the dispute. The result will be that having refused to suffer in silence when the first pebble was cast, we shall have to endure being pelted with a whole shower of stones.




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