Kindness is Better Than Madness

It is recorded of a certain Chinese Emperor that on being informed that his enemies had raised an insurrection in a distant provence, he said to his officers, "Come, follow me. We shall quickly destroy them."

On his arrival the rebels submitted to him and his officers expected that he would take the most signal revenge. Instead, the captives were treated with the utmost humanity.

"What?," cried his first minister of state, "Is this the manner in which your promise is fulfilled? Your royal word was given that your enemies should be destroyed and lo, you have pardoned them all." Then the Emperor replied, "I promised to destroy my enemies. I have fulfilled my word for see they are enemies no longer. I have made them my friends."

"Kindness is better than madness.", writes columist John R. Gunn. "Be generous and kindly toward your enemies and the chances are they will become your friends. And surely it is better to turn enemies into friends than to beat them and have them as enemies still."

We're inclined to glorify might rather than kindness. We see the evil fruits of this policy in all spheres of human relationships. Among individuals and nations, hatred is answered with hatred and violence with violence. It's tragic isn't it? Our contentions in striving serve only to keep us in a mad and muddled state of existence.

Why can't we, like the Chinese Emperor, destroy our enemies with kindness, by making them our friends? Could this be what Jesus meant when he said, Love your enemies; do good to those who treat you badly.