Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.Thomas à Kempis
Imitation of Christ
I watched a movie tonight called Rosenstrasse. During WWII in Germany, the Jewish husbands of Aryan women were protected--for a while. Then these men, too, were rounded up and held. Their wives held vigil outside the building where the husbands were being held and demanded their release. According to the movie, the men and women being held at Rosenstrasse returned to their families.
At one point in the movie, Lena (the protagonist Aryan wife) approached her father (a German man of some prestige and power who was an anti-Semite) and begged him for help. He refused. Not only did he turn his back on her literally, but he also denied the stories of camps and disowned his own daughter for having married a Jew.
In that moment watching the film, I felt such powerlessness and incomprehension for his reaction. I am not proud of my response. All I could feel was hatred. No compassion. No understanding of his fear or worries. None. I couldn't get there. And the hatred I felt was not just directed at his behavior, but at him.
Yes, I know it was a movie and this was not a real person. However, there were many real people who did the very things that this role portrayed. God help me. I am not as full of lovingkindness as the Dalai Lama who prays for the Chinese--the very people who ripped him from his homeland.
So I must turn toward my own shortcomings with lovingkindness. May I find peace. May I find compassion for the woundedness of others. May I find enough that it spills over to those around me.
May it be so.