The Face of Kindness

In the book The Road Less Travelled, Scott Peck starts the book with the line: ‘Life is difficult.’ I recall my response to it was that ‘Life is challenging, not always difficult, indeed, sometimes, joyful, mystical and transcendent’. But is it not also a reflection of the reality of human living to say that ‘Everyone suffers.’ As children, we suffer harshness, irritability, aggression, violence, sexual abuse, comparisons, ‘put downs’, emotional abandonment, social ostracisation, bullying, passivity, injustice, being labelled, ignored, exiled, demeaned and lessened.  The responses to these sad experiences is to become fearful, depressed, withdrawn, delusional, illusional, perfectionistic, success and work addicted, addicted to substances, obsessional, compulsive, controlling, rebellious and passive. Unless resolved, we bring our defensive responses to suffering into our adulthood and, sadly, in turn bring suffering to others.

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