With Fr. GORDON ALBION
RANK RUDENESS, is a weapon against which there is no defence. At least 1 can't think of one, though I've been trying hard for days after being made the target of an ill-mannered attack.
It wasn't a sudden angry reaction to provocation. That is understandable and forgiveable. You get as good as you give ending up all square. Call that satisfaction if you like. In fact. you both feel somewhat sheepish, childish and soiled. This was different.
IT was a quiet, calculated series of insulting remarks. My hackles rose and if I didn't reply in kind. it was solely because my wits weren't sharp enough. It was just as well, for I was angry and if you speak when you're angry you'll make the hest speech you'll ever regret! In any case, as I said, there's no adequate answer to sheer ill-bred offensiveness.
To reply in kind reduces you to the low level of the offender. To attempt a soft answer is to risk a further snub.
Your only course of action is to say and do nothing, both then and later. You may hope that this will bring a prick of conscience. but even that is probably too much to expect. for the fact of the matter is that
a person who has shown such lack of breeding, isn't likely to he troubled by any sensitiveness of mind that wpuld even realize, still less regret, hurt or harm done by crudity of speech.
A psychiatrist might define it as a defence mechanism in someone suffering from an inferiority complex and socially unsure of himself.
As the poet says: "A man by nothing is so well betrayed as by his manners."
We. at the receiving end, can't prctend indifference to insult. It always touches a raw nerve. We're tempted to brood on it and seek occasion for revenge.
THERE'S an easy remedy. Pray for him who has in fact lost more than you.
"My counsel is", writes St. Peter, "keep thy tongue clear of harm and thy lips free from every treacherous word . • . I would see you tender-hearted, modest and humble, not repaying injury with injury. or hard words with hard words, hut calling down a blessing instead."
This God's call demands of you, and you will inherit a blessing in your turn.