by Fionn Zarubica
True story: The most unpopular guy in a university class, in Belgrade, walks into a seminar late. Everyone turns and looks him over as he rushes to explain to the host that he is in fact a member of the class but was held up downstairs. One member of the group states that he has never seen the fellow before. The rest of the group then join him in agreement.
This student was in fact a member of the group, but he was quite an unpopular fellow. Unpopular enough to provoke in his young adult colleagues the desire to play a cruel and harsh joke on him, which resulted in his getting thrown out of the seminar in tears.
The fellow in question was, and is today, a very difficult and unpleasant person. He has never hesitated to undermine his colleagues or to use cruel tactics to get what he wants or thinks he needs. Even now, some fifty years later, while he is materially successful, he is completely without ally.
But the painful reality is that this little lesson crushed him to the core and set him back even farther from understanding the ramifications of his behaviour. He was not strong enough to withstand it. For all that he dished out, and for all that he seemed immune to the feelings of others, he was ultimately exquisitely vulnerable and without a shred of defense. That is why he behaved the way he did. He was incapable of doing better.
The most troublesome people are the most troubled.
The lesson he was given did not heal him of his need to treat others as he treated himself – without love; but it did serve to reinforce within him the conviction that there is no point in pursuing goodness, because in his view it demonstrated that there is no love for him out there or anywhere.
I cannot see anything without seeing the microcosm macrocosm relationship. So I am thinking of this on both a local and global level. When individuals or nations behave badly, and we or members of our society try to teach them a lesson, what is really getting accomplished?
When our family, friends and colleagues act out negatively, does it do anyone any good to teach them a lesson?
I am thinking that what is needed is “nevermindedness” .
I did not say forgiveness on purpose because I find forgiveness requires a starting point of judgment. But perhaps we can make an effort to sincerely “not mind” the mistakes our dear ones make – the dear ones near to us, in our families and communities, as well as those around the globe. They are all dear to us, they are all ours and we are all one.
From where I sit, I am done waiting for the other guy to realize he is wrong. I just want to go forward in Divine “nevermindedness”.
Be gentle, particularly with the enemies; because they need our loving care more than anyone. Treat the troublemakers compassionately. Let them go, for they cannot hurt us. Maybe they will take the love that is offered and do better going forward. Don't mind, just love. And if you cannot do that, have rakija!