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Hatred is Appeased with Love

love

For, in truth, in this world hatred is not appeased by hatred; hatred is appeased by love alone. This is the eternal law.

This is one of the most celebrated verses of the Dhammapada, one of those most often cited—I would have liked to be able to say, “one of the most obeyed in the world”; unfortunately that would not be true. For people speak much of this teaching but do not follow it.

Yet, there is one aspect of the problem which is less spoken of but which seems perhaps more urgent still if you want things to change in the world, something to which people give very little thought. I am going to surprise you. It is this: if love must be returned for hatred in order that the world may change, would it not be even more natural that love should be returned for Love?

If one considers the life and action and heart of men as they are, one would have every right to be surprised at all the hatred, contempt, or at best, the indifference which are returned for this immensity of Love which the divine Grace pours upon the world, for this immensity of Love which acts upon the world at every second to lead it towards the divine delight and which finds so poor a response in the human heart. But people have compassion only for the wicked, the deficient, the misshapen, for the unsuccessful ones and the failures—truly it is an encouragement to wickedness and failure.

If one thought a little more of this aspect of the problem, perhaps one would have less need to insist on the necessity of returning love for hatred, because if the human heart responded in all sincerity to the Love that is being poured into it with the spontaneous gratitude of a love which understands and appreciates, then things would change quickly in the world.
The Mother