The Quality of Mercy
I wasn't feeling very merciful earlier today.
I'd been fighting with my youngest son's school-issued computer all morning, trying to get him logged in to his classes from home, and not succeeding all that well.
And my lack of merciful thoughts and feelings toward anyone and everyone who had a hand in making it all more complicated (at least to me) than it needed to be was definitely showing.
But there was a moment when I saw my son's teacher on the Zoom page surrounded by all of the little faces of the kids in her class. Every one of them was at home, including the teacher---trying to navigate this new world we are in and doing their best to figure it out.
A voice spoke up in my head... "Everyone is doing the best they can... that's all they can do right now... the best they can..."
As I was writing this, I remembered a bit of a monologue from Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice:
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown...
“Action on the basis of reciprocity leads to exclusive societies. Merciful action leads to inclusive societies.
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.