Response and Freedom

I just love Maggie Ross. I was reading this, this morning:

"If . . . we encounter hostility and respond with hostility we have pretty much shut the door on a different response. If, however, we respond with understanding and kindness, we open the option for the other person to respond differently: we make a spaciousness for possibility."

I always struggle with spiritual admonitions to treat hostility with kindness. It depends on the situation. Many times you really lose nothing by being patient with another's anger, but there are times when the other person has the power to negatively impact your life. At what point are you allowed to protect yourself? Is it really a spiritual thing to make yourself such a nothing that you may be freely taken advantage of by anyone who thinks they have a right to do so?

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