I was reminded today of a story that illustrates one of the most powerful ways to conquer one’s enemies. Love the hate right out of them…
This is a true account.
A woman sat silently in the courtroom until the verdict, three years in prison, was reached for the 14 year gangster who had murdered her son. After the sentencing, she stood up and vowed to the teenager, “I’m going to kill you.”
After 6 months in prison, the mother began to visit the boy. She was his first and only visitor. She came more often, bringing food and gifts.
On the day he was released, the mother asked him what he would be doing when he got out. The boy had no place to go. She offered him a job and a room in her home. He accepted.
After 8 months of living with her, eating her food and going to his job, the mother called him into a room to talk. She asked him if he remembered her threat to kill him. He nodded his head.
She went on to explain that she had accomplished her goal.
She said that at the end of the trial she vowed that the boy who had killed her son would not remain alive on this earth any longer. So she started to visit him and befriend him. She wanted the old gangster to die. Now, after many months, she figured she had reached her goal. Love had transformed the lad. He was a new man.
Then she asked to adopt him. And he accepted.
She became the mother he never had.
The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness, and Peace, by Jack Kornfield.