‘Every man will pay the penalty for his own misdeeds. The man who remember this will be angry with no one, revile no one, blame no one, offend no one, hate no one.’
Probably no other man in American history was ever more denounced and hated and double-crossed than Lincoln. Yet Lincoln, according to Herndon’s classic biography,
“never judged man by his like or dislike for them. If any given act was to be performed, he could understand that his enemy could do it just as well as anyone. If a man had maligned him or been guilty of personal ill-treatment,and was the fittest man for the place, Lincoln would give him that place, just as soon as he would give it to a friend. … I do not think he ever removed a man because he was his enemy or because he disliked him.”
Perhaps Lincoln was right. If you and I had inherited the same physical, mental, and emotional characteristics that our enemies have inherited, and is life had done to us what it has done to them, we would act exactly as they do. we couldn’t possibly do anything else. As Clarence Darrow used to say: “To know all is to understand all, and this leaves no room for judgment and condemnation.” So instead of hating our enemies, let’s pity them and thank God that life has not made us what they are. Instead of heaping condemnation and revenge of out enemies, let’s given them our understanding, our sympathy, our help, our forgiveness and our prayers.
(from How To Stop Worrying And Start Living, a book by Dale Carnegie)