this corollary to "may i think kindly of others" reminds me each morning that i cannot think kindly of others and be angry with them at the same time. to think kindly means that i try to understand the underlying motivation of others rather than wasting time being angry with them. there is a reason for harmful actions directed at me by others that has little to do with me and everything to do with their motives and intentions, and it is my responsibility to discern the why behind those actions objectively, without anger or thoughts of retaliation. i must think, "how do i defuse the anger this person feels now," without becoming a doormat for another's anger and frustration.
we waste so much energy on anger. how much more productive it is to use that energy to develop compassion for those who anger us or who direct their anger at us. once i am able to see that those with whom i could become angry are like me and that their anger often stems from a hurt deep inside it is not so difficult to end bad thoughts about them. when i forget that another is allowing his impulses to direct his actions rather than thinking through a situation and responding to it in a rational way, i may act with the same impulsiveness and respond to his anger thoughtlessly. on the other hand, if i stop the bad thoughts which are propelling me headlong toward an angry response or when i refuse to allow my frustrations to cause me to act in anger toward another, i have saved myself much wasted energy, harmful emotions, and hurtful words directed at another.
anger and the bad thoughts that flow from anger are responses that have no productive value. they poison the mind and cause our bodies great harm. may we think before we act in anger. may we remember how much others are like us and remind ourselves that thinking bad thoughts about others are the same as thinking bad thoughts about ourselves. shalom