I Will Not Drink the Poison
A few days ago as I was listening to the news, I wondered once again why it has been impossible for Israel and Palestine to find a path to a peaceful two-state solution. The next thing I questioned is why I am harboring hard feelings toward some of my own family members.
There were some recent events that made me feel like I had been cheated and mistreated. From my perspective, I was completely justified in feeling hurt and angry. I will probably never know how my family members could possibly think their behavior was appropriate or fair, but obviously, they justified it in their own minds.
I have no way of knowing if they had difficulty sleeping, but after I woke up many, many times at 3:00 o’clock in the morning with my heart racing and my mind raging, I decided I had to let go of my anger.
Emmett Fox has been credited with saying, “Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”
So here’s my resolution for 2017––When there is conflict, I will look for common ground. I will try to see the situation through other people’s eyes. I will make a genuine effort to understand their position, and I will be willing to be the first to apologize after a conflict.
I know these actions won’t bring peace to the Middle East. They might not even create harmony within my family. However, I believe it will help me create peace within my own heart and mind. My attitude is the one thing I can control, so I will choose to be grateful for my friends and family members whose values are similar to mine, and when I start to feel anger and resentment boiling up in my heart, I will tell myself, “I will not drink the poison!”
Happy New Year!