Thread: “When another person makes you suffer.."

  1. #1

    “When another person makes you suffer.."

    I was looking at the following quote from Ven.Thich Nhat Hahn, after reading some harrowing news items about increases in the abuse of women by aggressive men during the Corona Virus lockdowns:

    “When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That's the message he is sending.”

    ― Thich Nhat Hanh
    Realistically, how do you suggest that women should deal with episodes of physical and/or verbal abuse from their husbands, or from other men, when general circumstances are also difficult for them?


  2. #2
    Forums Member KathyLauren's Avatar
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    Thay is right, of course. But it is a matter of priorities. At the moment the abuse is happening, the priority is to make it stop. In some cases, by any means available. Making an abuser stop prevents him from generating even more bad karma, and is probably the best way to help him. Once the abuse has at least temporarily stopped, then it is time to get help for the abuser. But help for the victim is a higher priority.

    I think Thay is addressing a less specific situation. It is the same issue that comes up sometimes in secular conversation: what is the purpose of the penal system? I believe he is saying that correction is preferable to punishment. We euphemistically refer to the jail system as the “correction” system, but we all know that many people want its purpose to be to make an offender suffer. I think he is saying that that is wrong.

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    Kathy
    Last edited by KathyLauren; 29 Jul 20 at 20:17.

  3. #3
    Forums Member Traveller's Avatar
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    I'm not a woman so don't want to contribute too much to this debate but my mother had an undiagnosed anti-social personality disorder and was very psychologically and physicallly abusive to me as a kid mainly because she'd been very damaged herself, to some degree I think such behaviour comes from an unconcious knowledge that the universe is completely out of control and indiscriminate and that creates an unconcious motivation to try and control everything and everyone to create some order out of it, in the end it falls apart because things aren't that way.

    I recently found out she died a while back through internet research and it brought up a lot of conflicting feelings, I forgave her a long time ago and there was a study that showed that people who forgive live longer but that didn't mean I was going to giver her the opportunity to mess with my head again.

    I know a lot of people who have been in jail and very few of them it made better people but the Scandinavian type penal systems which focus on addressing such behaviours and trying to re-educate criminals have much shorter sentences, much more liberal environments and much lower recidivism rates, there crime rates are much lower and there police departments are a lot smaller and have much higher clear up rates than western countries with a more punitive system per capita. I'll bow out now and refrain from this discussion.

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    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aloka View Post
    Realistically, how do you suggest that women should deal with episodes of physical and/or verbal abuse from their husbands, or from other men, when general circumstances are also difficult for them?
    Tell the men: "you need help & I will not return until you change" and depart the residence and stay with family or friends.

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