This time of year is always good for reflection. There isn’t much going on, and it allows us to think back on the year and judge how well we did, what we did right, and what we did wrong. What did you learn? What did you forget? How can you better yourself in the new year?
For me, I learned to hold my tongue, to take a deep breath, to assess the situation and respond to negativity with simplicity and kindness.
In writing blog posts you come across many negative comments. It’s hurtful, and your defenses go up when you feel attacked. It’s easy to retaliate, but wisdom and grace comes in taking a minute to compose yourself, and take the moral high ground. What is the assailant’s premise? Chances are, if you’re posting something, you’ve taken the time to study the subject. Is there something that the assailant commentator knows that you don’t? Or have they simply over looked facts that you are privy to, that they are not?
There is much wrong with the world, there always is. Wars are fought, dictators made powerful, corrupt politicians elected to office.
We gain power in being gracious, being men of integrity and honor. We become masters of our own destiny when we take the moral high ground. When we fight for what is right, and respond with kind words to those who do not agree.
More is accomplished with neutrality and trade than with war. That is not to say to be passive. Oh no, passiveness will get you nowhere. Many heads have been stepped on for being passive.
After the war of independence, Thomas Jefferson opposed war with France, despite French insults to the newly founded United States of America. Instead of fighting the French, Jefferson ended up securing a deal for the Louisiana Purchase, doubling the size and power of his young country.
Good will to all men does not mean you will not have legitimate enemies. It does not mean you should lay down and take whatever comes. It simply means that you will take the moral high ground by being a man of good character, of having integrity, and good grace. It means responding with civility and conviction, instead of emotion and disdain.
Civilization is built on civility, on calm, on trading. Civilization is destroyed with insults, mania, and theft.
During this Christmas season, and into the new year, I will practice civility, and to fight the good fight with integrity and honor. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.