The Quality of Mercy
The quality of mercy is not strained.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
Mercy is not an easy quality to come by. It requires that we have a big heart and an understanding spirit. It is a quality not for the meek, but the strong.
Mercy has always been perceived to be a religious or righteous quality. Hence God has often been referred to as the ‘God of Mercy’, implying He is the One and only one who can be totally kind and benevolent, who can set aside all wrongdoings and forgive. The title ‘Angel of Mercy’ is given to those humans who are able to follow suit.
It is perhaps much easier to have mercy for those whom you like and who may be undergoing difficulties, but to have mercy for those who have harmed you, insulted you or betrayed you is indeed a god-like quality. It indicates that you remain in a high stage of self-respect and are not influenced or shaken by the malevolent acts of others. Furthermore, to not cast blame on the perpetrators revels a high degree of spirituality.
We need to be merciful not just to others, but also to ourselves. Here are some reasons why…
When we have been hurt, it is important to forgive and to let go. If we do not, it is like holding onto a hot piece of coal and expecting the other to get burnt. It is the quality of mercy that enables us to forgive and to let go. Mercy for the self is wisdom in itself; it enables me to first forgive myself. Mercy for others enables me to forgive them. Finally, I realise that all that happened was toxic and that I cannot hold onto it any longer, for it will make me sick. So best to let go of it and move on peacefully.
To be merciful means to have a loving heart as big as the ocean that accommodates everyone. Mercy does not pick or choose, measure or weigh, barter or bargain. Mercy means pure love. And when I am able to love in such a way without discrimination, it is the purest feeling ever. I feel free and victorious.
The one who has mercy does not entertain taking revenge in the slightest. The word is not even in their dictionary. They have understood the philosophy of karma well and so do not feel the need to take judgement into their own hands. A merciful soul realizes that two wrongs do not make one right, and that only benevolent and well-wishing thoughts can help a soul.
A merciful soul only sees virtues and not vices. They only see greatness and not weakness. They give a hand to uplift, rather than put down one another. Even after being betrayed, the merciful soul is able to see the other with a positive vision, because beauty is in the eye of the beholder!
Most importantly the merciful soul gives and does not want. He/she is so full from taking power from God and following His footsteps, that he/she does not need to beg from anyone. In fact, mercy is almost synonymous with giving. Mercy means to give love no matter what, to give peace when it is needed, to give happiness in light of sorrow, to give help when none is being shown to them. Mercy makes one great!
It’s Time… to have a big and merciful heart.
© ‘It’s Time…’ by Aruna Ladva, BK Publications London, UK