It is painful to be human. It is painful because humans are wrought with conflicting emotions. And there will always be people who, intentionally or unintentionally hurt us.
There are many things we can do in order to ensure that our manners, characters, and actions reflect what is taught by our religion, but what can we do when those around us don't act in the same way? What can we do when, even though we try to treat everyone around us well, we end up abused, hurt, and upset by others? We've all heard we should "Treat others how we wish to be treated."-but what can we do even when we treat others how we want to be treated, they don't treat us in the same way? Should we instead just treat others how they treat us?
We could be over-sensitive, and continue analyzing what people say or do. We could even take the route foolish people take and try to get back at those who have hurt us. But these choices will not lead to any change in the person you are dealing with, nor will they help you to reconcile and seek inner peace: Buddha said, "Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned."
"Why didn't God create all humans good?"
Well, to answer that question, He did. Allah سبحانه وتعالى created us all good. But He gave us free will, so that opens up the opportunity for corruption, thus allowing each and every one of us the potential for great good and great evil. Man is made out of clay, so he is mold-able, changeable, he can be easily influenced. Therefore, because of the corruption of this world some humans cease to be good and this is part of our test.
وَجَعَلْنَا بَعْضَكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ فِتْنَةً أَتَصْبِرُونَ ۗ وَكَانَ رَبُّكَ بَصِيرًا
We have made some of you as a trial for others: will ye have patience? For Allah is One Who sees (all things) (Quran 25:20)
If everyone could live in fairness, kindness, and harmony life would cease to be difficult, because our biggest difficulty is keeping the ties of goodness between one another. It is not always easy to deal with other people-if it was, where would the test be? Sometimes people may treat you badly, upset you, or disrespect you but our test is in how we treat them in return, how we deal with injustice when we face it.
We should seek whenever possible to make excuses for those who wrong us, and not be quick to judge.:
عن البيهقي عن حمدون القصار قال إِذَا زَلَّ أَخٌ مِنْ إِخْوَانِكُمْ فَاطْلُبُوا لَهُ سَبْعِينَ عُذْرًا فَإِنْ لَمْ تَقْبَلْهُ قُلُوبُكُمْ فَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ الْمَعِيبَ أَنْفُسُكُمْ
Al-Bayhaqi reported: Hamdun Al-Qassar said, “If one of your brothers commits an error, then seek seventy excuses for him. If your hearts do not accept it, then know that the fault is with yourselves.”We can't control others actions, but we can control our reactions towards them. If you condition yourself to not be affected by others, you will come to realize that the only one who has control of your emotions and feelings is yourself. When we get mad at someone, we may speak unkind words to them, we may even shout and yell, we may allow it to consume our thoughts and think about them much longer than necessary. You may think you are mad at the person, but if you go back and analyze what really made you upset, you will find that your reaction escalated the situation and made you more upset than the actions done by others.
In advising words to wives, The Prophet of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said
“I also saw the Hell-fire and I had never seen such a horrible sight. I saw that most of the inhabitants were women.” The people asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! Why is it so?” The Prophet replied, “Because of their ungratefulness.” It was asked whether they are ungrateful to Allah. The Prophet said, “They are ungrateful to their companions of life (husbands) and ungrateful to good deeds. If you are benevolent to one of them throughout the life and if she sees anything (undesirable) in you, she will say, ‘I never had any good from you.’"
This is a hadith that is often misunderstood and many people forget the context of this hadith, you can read more about this hadith to completely understand it, but I'm referencing the part in bold.
It's addressing the occurrence when a wife, after becoming upset by something, suddenly forgets everything good that her husband has ever done. This is addressed to women, because being the more emotional gender they are more susceptible to reacting this way; men may be more able to maintain calm rationale and logic during times of heightened emotion. But it still contains a good lesson, whatever your gender and whoever you may be dealing with, not just spouses but anyone else you deal with in life. The lesson is that we shouldn't allow one moment to color our entire reality and judgement, being completely influenced by our emotions in a way that makes us forget everything good done by a person.
The thing we all have to remember is people are painfully human, we are all inclined to make mistakes, but just because someone may do something bad, doesn't mean they are bad. And if we've seen much good from a person, we shouldn't be mean towards them or change our opinion about them because of one mistake. Just because someone has a flaw doesn't mean they are defined by that flaw: we need to be more considerate in our judgments of other people and realize, just like we deal with many difficulties or our own, everyone we deal with in life is experiencing more than what we see on the surface. Everyone has hidden difficulties, insecurities, and battles they are dealing with. Each person is dealing with much more than the volume of the conversation or interaction we are having, and people's actions are more driven by their inner feelings and state of mind than they are by their feelings towards me and whatever I have said and done. How people treat you says more about them than it does about you so try not to let others affect you so much.
There will always be painful feelings, because without the bad, we would never know it when we feel good. Would you know how something sweet tastes if you've never tasted anything bitter? Why do people like drinking coffee while eating chocolate? Because the bitterness accentuates the sweetness.
When we react to negativity, we are hurting ourselves, disturbing our inner peace and creating unnecessary mental pain. The negativity of others is a reflection of their inner state, try to understand and help others to reconcile with that inner trouble instead of pushing their negativity back on to them.
|وَلَا يَأْتَلِ أُولُو الْفَضْلِ مِنْكُمْ وَالسَّعَةِ أَنْ يُؤْتُوا أُولِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينَ وَالْمُهَاجِرِينَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ۖ وَلْيَعْفُوا وَلْيَصْفَحُوا ۗ أَلَا تُحِبُّونَ أَنْ يَغْفِرَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ|
|وَلَا تَسْتَوِي الْحَسَنَةُ وَلَا السَّيِّئَةُ ۚ ادْفَعْ بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ فَإِذَا الَّذِيبَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَهُ عَدَاوَةٌ كَأَنَّهُ وَلِيٌّ حَمِيمٌ|
The good deed and the evil deed are not alike. Repel the evil deed with one which is better, then lo! he, between whom and thee there was enmity will become a close friend.
But none is granted it save those who are steadfast, and none is granted it save the owner of great happiness. (41:34-35)