And the contemplation on love and compassion can bring a lot of relief and can bring a nectar of healing to you. Suppose someone has made you suffer. You think of him or her is very cruel. That person inflicted you a lot of suffering on your family, on your country. Because of that, you suffer so much, you want that person or that group of persons to suffer a lot for you to get a relief. You are thinking in terms of punishment. Because you suffer and want to get a relief, you think the punishment will help you to do that. You would like to see the other persons suffer. And you feel better if that person who has inflicted on you a lot of pain suffer. The will to retaliate. The violence in you. The hate in you. And that hate, that anger, that will to revenge is a kind of fire that continues to burn your body and your mind. And you are in hell. Hell is there in the here and the now. Just before, we spoke about that the kingdom of God is in the here and the now. But that is true with hell. Hell can be in the here and the now if we allow the flame of afflictions to burn us.
With your attention focus on the other person, you can see the other person suffers a lot also. The fact is that when someone suffers a lot and that someone is not capable of handling his or her own suffering, s/he will spill his or her suffering all over and you become a victim of that. --- This is natural. This applies to everyone. So, looking deeply, we see that that person may not have a chance while s/he was a child to learn love and compassion from his or her parents. The parents have caused a lot of wounds in him, in her as a child. And no one had helped him or her to heal the wounds in a child. And when they went to school, the teachers did not help and the students around did not help. And the seed of anger, the seed of suffering, the seed of hate continue to grow. So, such a person needs a help. And not punishment. And with the practice of looking deeply, recognizing the presence of suffering in that person, you may see the truth that that person needs a help because so far, no one has helped him or her to suffer less, to transform the hate and the violence. And if we punish him and kill him, he will die and he will suffer more. We can not help him, either. So, looking like that, you have the insight. That insight may motivate you to do something to help that person. And you know that the hate and violence in you had been transformed into compassion.
Thích Nhất Hạnh
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