There will always be different perspectives on life, some view it as a journey, some as a race; others view it as a roller-coaster ride full of ups, downs, and unexpected twists and turns. There are even those who view life as a battle to be endured rather than an exciting adventure to be embraced and enjoyed. Regardless of what your individual perspective on life, it is important to realize and accept that you are not responsible for the behaviour of others but you are undoubtedly responsible for your own.
The world is full of people looking to get a rise out of others. They push and squeeze, gnaw and grind. Too often the victim of a calculated attack will crack, lash out and end up displaying behaviour that is completely out of character. However, at no point can we plead provocation as justification. While it may be true that a stumbling block was placed across our path, we have the power to choose whether to respond or react. A response is emotionally controlled whereas a reaction is emotionally charged. Without a doubt “offenders” are responsible for setting the trap, so to speak, but we are responsible for wilfully falling into it.
Life is ultimately about choices. You need to decide if your emotions are going to control you, or if you are going to control your emotions. Are you going to let others manipulate you into behaving in a way that you later regret?
The simple truth is that two wrongs do not make a right. Yet too often, when we have been wronged or deeply hurt, our response is to seek revenge. We have a misguided notion that by inflicting pain on the person who caused us pain, we will feel better. This is a lie. The Chinese proverb says it perfectly, “If you’re going to seek revenge, dig two graves”. The two graves being one for the person you are plotting against and one for yourself, because revenge will have a damaging impact on you both. In my experience, revenge only causes more pain. Not only to the person your actions are aimed at but more so to yourself. Instead of feeling better you feel guilty and even more unhappy than before. Revenge carries consequences. As unappealing and unfulfilling as forgiveness seems in the face of terrible wrongs, hurt and wickedness; it is absolutely freeing. The moment you choose to forgive, unkind words and actions, no longer have a hold on you. They cannot play a part in motivating your actions and decisions and they certainly cannot take up residence in your heart, festering away and causing bitterness.
Keep in mind your
behaviour doesn’t say anything about other people but it says everything about
you. When you return negative behaviour with more negative behaviour you fuel
the fire of discord and create a toxic, destructive environment. However, when
you refuse to react to negative, unkind words and actions you are basically
refusing to climb in the ring. It takes two to fight, it doesn’t matter who
said the first unkind word or who threw the first punch. If you climb into the
metaphoric ring, returning a blow or unkind word then you are equally at fault.
When you remain “outside the ring” a fully fledges fight cannot happen.
Unfortunately remaining outside the ring does not disarm the attacker or
diffuse the situation. To do that you need to return unkindness with kindness, evil
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21
I wrote the Cobus the cockroach story to demonstrate to children that fighting is not the solution. Through this entertaining story, Cobus the cockroach, shows children how destructive fighting is, that it takes two to fight and that getting along is far better and a lot more fun. Cobus the cockroach is a colourful picture book with an enjoyable story. Crawl into this delightful book and join Cobus on his exciting adventure.
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I hope this story will encourage children to avoid a fight.
Any blog or book related feedback and questions are most welcome. I would love to hear from you. I would also love to receive photographs of children enjoying my books. Make story time a special time. Happy reading!