I got off the bus yesterday to teach at a bank.

The lady in front of me had a cane.

I guess she was in her early fifties, but you could see that she had had a hard life. She had a broken body. She really didn’t look good. Her face looked like the face of someone who had worked the night shift all of her life. It seemed parched. She was emaciated. I’ve been reading too much about addiction lately, so I wondered if perhaps drugs had done some of the damage.

She got out and then stopped walking. She arched her back, almost writhing in pain. I admit I got a little annoyed, cause I wanted to move and she was blocking my way, but she couldn’t help it, so I waited.

I hear a woman say in loud, sarcastic tone:

‘Oh, such a young lady and she already needs a walking cane.’

The lady with the cane is idignant and yells back:

‘Madam, I have worked hard my entire life.’

She sounds sane. She sounds like she’s telling the truth.

The tone of the other woman is nasty, the classic voice of a bully.

What happened to this bully that she feels the need to belch out this remark? Does she want to say she is tougher? Was she criticized by a parent every time she showed a bit of ‘weakness’?

Why do some people deal with their inner pain with self-pity?

Why do some deal with it by alleviating the pain of others?

Why do some deal with it by inflicting pain on others?

None of these strategies seem to end the pain in one’s self.

From these three strategies I admire the second one the most, even though the person opting for this strategy will suffer a lot too.

‘If it doesn’t serve love, don’t speak it’.

Can we have that written on billboards, benches, playground, T-shirts…. everywhere until the message sinks in?

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