The robbed that smiles, steals something from the thief

Today I’m going to share with you one of my favorite William Shakespeare’s quotes. ”The robbed that smiles, steals something from the thief.

When you read or hear this quote at the first glance you can understand it’s literally meaning: if you are robbed, and you look that robber in the eye and smile, you have actually robbed him, by staying above the unpleasant situation.

But the true meaning of this quote is: avoid to let those that seek to harm you physically and mentally to really harm you. You can accomplish that by controlling the state of your mind. In this case you ultimately hold all the power, and nothing can truly be taken away from you.

If you change the word “robbed” that is being used as a rhetorical device. to “harmed and one who harms” the quote will make more sense.

Frequently people do harm to others because they enjoy seeing the ruin that they have caused. It makes them feel powerful. When the recipient does not behave as if they have been victimized, they then keep the power. This quote has the kind of similar message with the well known Buddha’s gift story. Take a look:

So, Shakespeare’s advice in simple words is: smile when something bad happens you, let them know that their rudeness can’t harm you. Refuse to let people or circumstances get you down. Kill ’em with your kindness.

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