If you distill humanity down until you can’t distill anymore you’ll end up with two things: love and fear. Everything stems from these two elements.
When you’re about to do something, ask yourself: is this coming from love or from fear? If it’s from fear, then hold off and see if the same thing can be done from a place of love.
Where you come from makes all the difference; even if the action is the same.
A story of Ali from The 40 Rules Of Love:
The other day I heard a story that Shams of Tabriz told a group of people in the bazaar.
He said that Ali, the Prophet’s successor and companion, was fighting with an infidel on a battlefield. Ali was about to thrust his sword into the other man’s heart when all of a sudden the infidel raised his head and spit at him. Ali immediately dropped his sword, took a deep breath, and walked away. The infidel was stunned. He ran after Ali and asked him why he was letting him go. “Because I’m very angry at you,” said Ali. “Then why don’t you kill me?” the infidel asked. “I don’t understand.” Ali explained, “When you spit in my face, I got very angry. My ego was provoked, yearning for revenge. If I kill you now, I’ll be following my ego. And that would be a huge mistake.”
So Ali set the man free. The infidel was so touched that he became Ali’s friend and follower…
Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gita says more or less the same thing:
Plunge into the heat of battle and keep your heart at the lotus feet of the Lord.