"If you prick us do we not bleed?
If you tickle us do we not laugh?
If you poison us do we not die?
And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?"
-- William Shakespeare
[Classic post from 3-18-16]
This morning, I was thinking about Shakespeare and words. It is said that he coined a lot of words that are in common use today. But, I'll leave that subject for tomorrow.
As I was looking at the quote above, I became fascinated by the incongruity of the last line, yet it does hold the sentiment that is so universal. The first three questions relate to autonomous bodily reactions to physical stimuli. The last is entirely an egotistical and angry response to an idea, a thing that is not physical at all, nor is it really caused by another, but within ourselves, of our own design.
Wars are made easy by this. Families and friends are ripped apart by this. Hatred is spread as if it now has a cause to grow by, to expand into. There are such words as the honor to defend, place to be demonstrated, emotions to be aroused. And yet, it is all in our minds. There is no harm done by another. No physical touch or entry into our protected space. No, it is strictly and completely our own thoughts fueled by our own ego into a physical reaction called revenge.
We have the choice. We always have the choice of what we will think about anything. Will we allow--and allow is the perfect word here--will we allow our thoughts to become anger, revenge? Or will we choose a different thought, and thereby a different response. Or, perhaps, no response at all, as if the cause for alarm did not ever exist.
When I finally learned that no one outside of myself can cause me to feel anything without my permission and participation, I realized that all the power is within me. I have the power to think what I will. I have the power to respond or not. I have control in this when I allow myself to have control. I am not my ego. My ego is a tool. I no longer want my ego making this kind of decision for me. As the chanting for the response grows, I can choose to turn and go a different direction or to even ignore.
I am aware of the context of this quote from The Merchant of Venice, Act 3, and yet, what may be considered normal in response, is not normal, but common, and it is common only in those who allow their ego to rule over their mind. We could then say, they are out of their minds.
Remember. You Get To Choose What You Will Think And How You Will Respond.
Spread Some Joy Today--Can someone take away your joy? Only if you allow it.