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TAKING OFFENSE by Mary Baker Eddy


    There is immense wisdom in the old proverb, “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty.” Hannah More said, “If I wished to punish my enemy, I should
make him hate somebody.”
    To punish ourselves for others’ faults, is superlative folly. The mental arrow shot from another’s bow is practically harmless, unless our own thought barbs it. It is our pride that makes another’s criticism rankle, our self-will that makes another’s deed offensive, our egotism that feels hurt by another’s self-assertion. Well may we feel wounded by our own faults; but we can hardly afford to be miserable for the faults of others.
    A courtier told Constantine that a mob had broken the head of his statue with stones. The emperor lifted his hands to his head, saying: “It is very surprising, but
I don’t feel hurt in the least.”
    We should remember that the world is wide; that there are a thousand million different human wills, opinions, ambitions, tastes, and loves; that each person has a different history, constitution, culture, character, from all the rest; that human life is the work, the play, the ceaseless action and reaction upon each other of these different atoms. Then, we should go forth into life with the smallest expectations, but with the largest patience; with a keen relish for and appreciation of everything beautiful, great, and good, but with a temper so genial that the friction of the world shall not wear upon our sensibilities; with an equanimity so settled that no passing breath nor accidental disturbance shall agitate or ruffle it; with a charity broad enough to cover the whole world’s evil, and sweet enough to neutralize what is bitter in it, — determined not to be offended when no wrong is meant, nor
even when it is, unless the offense be against God.
    Nothing short of our own errors should offend us. He who can wilfully attempt to injure another, is an object 
of pity rather than of resentment; while it is a question in my mind, whether there is enough of a flatterer, a fool, or a liar, to offend a whole-souled woman.

                                           Mary Baker Eddy in her book
                                           Miscellaneous Writings p. 223







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