“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” – Anonymous
Simmering with anger and sorrow from the bottom of my heart, I am reminded of this phrase, which is commonly known as Plato’s but it is not identified yet. Every time I am too filled with uncontrollable bad emotions to keep smiling at others, I try to soothe myself by recalling this lesson. Even the person who has just hurt my feelings may have constantly been struggling with an endless battle. I paraphrase the sentence in my own version when I come across anyone who is impolite or cynical about me: Nevertheless, be nice to others whatever happens. Anyone who makes me sad must have suffered a great level of pain that is more excruciating by a million times than resentment against me.
I found a phrase that sounds similar like a twin at a bookstore in Paris, Shakespeare and Company, “Show your hospitality. You may have just encountered an angel in disguise.” The sentence was a welcome oasis to me when I was completely terrified by armed police squads every step taken right after the 2015 Paris attacks.
When sorrow is about to burn me down, I try to repeat a more brutal phrase by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche: Whatever does not destroy me makes me stronger. Just as you are nice to people around you, do the same to yourself. It is how you support your oft-pitiful self who has no shoulder to lean on. Every time I depart for a dog-eat-dog competition in the real world, I am reminded of my favorite phrases with tearful eyes just as a young child who holds a stuffed doll tight to feel comfort and security before leaving home. This is how I perk up, stop being whiny and fill in myself with the strength to endure sufferings. My dear friend, listen to me. Don’t be afraid. The power of love within us can tear down the walls of hatred and prejudice.