"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." Actually, these words were not written by Plato. No one is sure who first wrote them. But they are worthy of our practice.
People are stressed these days, and the stressed mind feeds on conflict, because it seeks its reflection in the world outside.
A red Starbuck's cup becomes a cause for "the Christmas wars." One person says "black lives matter," another says "all lives matter," and people take sides. Why can't both statements be true? Why can't a cup be red? The stressed mind will see any situation as a conflict, when in reality it is just a situation.
Could we possibly forgive people for being who they are? Including ourselves? Most of us, in fact, are doing the best we can.
The stressed mind ascribes blame. If a person behaves incoherently, and makes a mistake, we want to ascribe motive. We want to take it personally. Our mind says, "That person did this to Me! They don't appreciate me. They are against me."
In fact, the person we blame wants to do what they believe is right, just as we do. And when they made the mistake, they probably weren't thinking of us at all. So why take it personally?
We all fall short. We don't need to waste our energy ascribing blame and intention to other people's frailty. Why not just say what Jesus said? "Forgive them, for they know not what they do."
As we enter these long benighted Winter days, let us practice MEDITATION and COMPASSION. What is compassion? Honoring a person's Being above their doing. What is meditation? Compassion for one's self.