We have to develop a very open loving attitude in our relationships with people. With everybody we meet, whether they are nice to us or not, we must have that initial feeling of “May you be well and happy”. Just a good feeling. It doesn’t mean we have to be stupid or that we can’t see that some people are bad or are going to cheat us. To be non-judgemental doesn’t mean that we are not discriminating. It means that we see the situation very clearly, we see clearly the kind of person before us, but we don’t react with anger. We don’t have to allow ourselves to be pushed around, we don’t have to be doormats for others to wipe their feet on. We can be very clear about what this person’s motivation is; we see it, and so can’t be trapped, cheated or abused.
But we don’t have to reply with the same kind of motivation. We don’t have to answer anger with anger. We don’t have to answer people who are mean by being mean back to them, right? We can be more skillful, we can bring intelligence into play. Buddhism is the path of being very intelligent. We use our understanding to respond intelligently and appropriately to situations as they arise.