A Lost Opportunity
“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.” Thich Nhat Hanh (This came to mind when I saw a mother strike her son in a public place. She was tired. He was out of sorts, too, and being rowdy. He struck her back. She, in turn, raised her hand like she was going to clobber him, saw me looking and stopped. At least for that time, I am glad I was there. No understanding or communication existed for them that was good. Only striking at symptoms, both of them. Nothing learned. Nothing gained. Sad. An opportunity lost. And nothing resolved so they both felt badly, as did the relationship.
Some deep breaths, patience, using communication skills, discussing consequences for bad choices, taking a time out…..so many options exist if old patterns are not allowed to control us.