“If someone slaps you in the face, let him slap you a second time,” a Norwegian saying* goes.
Now I don’t know where it came from, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s a derative of one of Jesus’ quotes about loving your enemy. I am a firm believer in second chances, believing in people, giving them the benefit of doubt and “innocent until proven otherwise”. People say I’m naive and they might very well be right (actually, I’m starting to think they are), but I generally choose to believe I’m just an optimist.
People need love, and people need someone who believes in them and backs them up. Especially if they’ve hit rock bottom. Especially if they’re not as strong as you. The human mind is a fragile entity, and those of us who are gifted with the rare gift of optimism have a very important duty to perform; to believe in people, to pick them up and welcome them back after their struggle. Even if they wronged you in the first place. You know they’re not as strong-willed as you, and they might therefore end up being unsuccessfull in their choice of actions. But that’s where you come in to the picture. Not to lecture them, everyone has done something stupid in their life, but to pick them up from their fall.
What you have to endure might be unfair on you, and yes you will most likely have to take a few hits — but you’re strong enough to take it. It might hurt and leave marks on your soul, but think of the impact on those weaker than you. If they had to take it, it would slash them to pieces. You’re their cushion, you lessen their fall. You piece the shards together. You can afford taking the hits because you have a stronger spirit and a stronger will to see the light. Just like rich people can afford giving from their wealth to poorer people, strong spirits can afford to give from our wealth of strength.
So the next time someone slaps you in the face, let him slap you a second time.
* Loosely translated
This is for those of you strong spirits who have a close friend who has hurt you deep enough to get under your skin. As long as you don’t hate the person (because for a strong spirit to really loathe someone, it must have been serious), I sincerely hope you have the strength to be a rock they can return to!