No heart for resentment

Recently I was moved by a podcast interview with Congressman John Lewis, a former leader in the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. In response to a question about how he dealt with the vicious verbal and physical abuse he faced during nonviolent protests, he said: “In all of the years since, I’ve not had any sense of bitterness or ill feeling toward any of the people. I just don’t have it” (On Being with Krista Tippett, “John Lewis on the Art & Discipline of Nonviolence”).

Most of us have never faced anything that could begin to approach the level of maliciousness the Congressman experienced decades ago, but we likely have had a difficult experience for which we would be considered justified in feeling wronged or resentful—and may have given in to those feelings.

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