The previous post presented the compassionate approach. Today’s post presents approaching with hostility. Each approach has its supporters. Each approach has its repercussions.
See which approach suits your viewpoint and your actions.
A couple (man and woman) are sitting in an outdoor café when a homeless woman approaches them asking for money. The man and woman had been deep in a conversation, and the interruption is jarring. The homeless woman wears tattered and slightly stained clothing and speaks with a stutter.
The couple is determined to continue their important conversation and initially, ignores the homeless woman. When she again requests money, the man looks at her, raises his eyebrows, and says “You are a nuisance. Leave us alone. We are entitled to eat here without being bothered by people like you.” His partner says “Yes, leave us alone. There are laws about people like you, and you cannot come here and beg. Go away.”
The homeless woman, who is inured to reactions such as these, raises her voice and stutteringly requests money. The man, angered, calls to the host, and the host walks out of the entrance to the homeless woman and authoritatively says “In 10 seconds I am calling a policeman to escort you from here. Now go!” The homeless woman replies “Just g-g-g-give me a bit of food and I w-w-won’t come b-b-b-back.” The host, tired of dealing with panhandlers, raises his voice and says “G-g-g-get the f___ out of here—NOW!” The homeless woman, feeling neither hurt nor sad—rather accepting and deserving of this outburst—turns and moves on. The host apologizes to the couple, who resolve to sit inside next time, and the interaction is done.
Anger, raised voice, clenched fists, contracted shoulders, shallow breaths. Hostility causes rifts, causes hurt, causes movement away from, causes reactions, causes loss of support. Hostility is no-good, no-help, no-build, no-support, no-way, no-answer, no-solution, no-model, no-comfort. Hostility breeds contempt and withdrawal. Hostility devastates. Hostility leads to resistance and to intransigence or desertion. To meet another with anger in the voice, with anger in the heart, with agitation in the gut—UNWISE, UNSOLVABLE, UNADVOCATED.
To choose negativity over positivity is often easier. To find fault, to bring down, to ridicule, to deride: these actions are lazier, are foolish, are belittling—belittling to the deliverer of the negativity even more than to the receiver. Using strength, either physical or mental, to downtrod others is repaid without the deliverer’s awareness—through dreams and other intangible ways. Woe to the one who kills with pleasure. The repayment will be delivered.
This approach is from the book Oneself -Living–Possibilities, Quiet Treasures, Ways in the chapter “Part 1: Meeting Hostilely”. The book can be purchased through amazon.com stores: