Why Are We Kind To Those Who Hurt Us?


Why is it that we need, feel an impulse, to be kind to people who’ve hurt us? Actually kinder… Perhaps the kindest.

I’d like to believe it’s not something stemming from an ill-guided need to be a martyr or a hero. If I were to guess, I’d say that in spite of what would appear to be our initial impulse—to try to get back at them either with bitter comments or other means of retribution to attempt to make them feel the pain they caused—something else lies beneath the surface, some knowledge in a back corner of the mind that says the only thing this would accomplish would be to hurt us more, if not the most.

So I hold back. I won’t even mention the past, old battle scars, old strifes.

The truth is that if you loved—the poem goes “Love is not love, which alters when it alteration finds”—, you won’t soon forget the ones you loved, even after they’ve wounded, lost their shine, fell from their pedestal or disappointed you.

There’s a part of you that somehow chooses to remain in limbo with regards to responsibility to the matter; did you idealize or did they fall short?

Something—is it nostalgia, is it principles; does it matter—still forces loyalty and respect. Because you still love them somehow. You do it out of memory. You swallow back any cruel words. You let it be. You fight an inner battle everyday, and everyday you try to win over your worse self, choose to do the kind thing.

Pushing forward towards the only way to go and wading through a downstream current, I find it so hard and yet so easy to do the kind thing. How is it that it feels like both?

And sometimes you do nothing, because the kind thing is to do nothing at all. You hold back when you want to help, hold your tongue, wait… Wondering if it’s just an excuse to indulge in the status quo. You wait anyway.

I really don’t know whether you should still be a friend to someone after they’ve failed you. Somehow, I do it anyway. Isn’t the definition of insanity to repeat something hoping for a different result? Then surely, I must be insane.