No one likes being disrespected or put down. And our natural response is to defend ourselves or launch our own counterattack. And certainly, there’s a place for our inner warrior to rise and fight for what’s good. But we need wisdom to also know when it’s best to simply take the hit.
For instance, someone might cut us off while driving or take our parking spot. Or maybe our wife says something that pushes our button, or a coworker makes disrespectful comments toward us. And not wanting to be a push-over, we tend to respond in kind with our own aggressive moves back toward them.
This is often seen as a point of honor or demanding respect. But it can also cause things to escalate with no one satisfied until the other is ultimately defeated. And at its extreme, this can become a matter of life and death.
To be sure, there’s a place to stand up and defend what’s true and good. This is part of how we advance light and love in the world. But we must fight for true good and not simply our egos when we’ve been offended.
Learning to take the hit is a practice of self-control. While we could react, we’re choosing not to – pursuing a higher good than merely getting even with the other.
Some things don’t matter in the long run and there’s wisdom in simply letting many offenses go. This allows us to exercise our freedom and power to determine how we want to respond to a given situation rather than just blindly reacting to others.
Of course, this still comes with a cost. But it’s a small cost compared to letting our pride get the best of us.
In the end, taking the hit frees you to continue your practice of love. Rather than reacting to every offense, you’re able to wisely let many things go and no longer be controlled by your pride.