I have had #Tolstoy on my list to read for years – not the early stuff, as have read most of that. I want the later life searching. "A Confession" is my newest companion. #books pic.twitter.com/6fDnCFwccB
— Gerald Lee Jordan Ⓥ (@geraldleejordan) March 26, 2019
Sometimes you are aiming for the best person you can be. You spend months in meditation, in living by principles of kindness. You then find yourself in an environment that is not conducive for kindness and tranquility. I have been lucky in my life, as while there have been periods of hostility, I have mostly been surrounded by decent people. There are, however, hostile environments where bullies are able deflect from their incompetence by attacking others. They are, of course, cowards. Bullies always are. They are afraid they will be discovered for the frauds that they are, so they engage in tactics which – if reached the light of day – would bring them scorn, contempt and pity. This is made worse when bullies have power.
How does this relate to Tolstoy and his “A Confession”? Tolstoy was part of the “in” crowd. He was a famous writer who rubbed shoulders with the highest levels of society. He was also, by his own admission, a person who brought suffering to others for his own pleasure. He later felt great shame to look back on these actions. I am reading his “A Confession” and I am not yet to the point where Tolstoy reforms – but I already know that he does. He goes from a life of selfish actions, to giving away his goods to the needy and living by the highest standards.
When I deal with petty, insecure, narcissistic and sadistic people, I try to imagine that they could be better. I pity them, but also realise that there were times when I did things of which I am now ashamed. I ate the flesh of other beings. I was part of enslaving females for what their bodies produced for their children.
Pity the bully, but know they could be better.