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Civility and respect hallmark of true character

"In quietness and confidence shall be your strength." Isaiah 30:15

polarbearcubThis post has some resemblance to my previous post but it chiefly reflects my desire to let go of any preconceived prejudices or judgments that may have been present, and speak from a new place in myself. 

Thank you for your patience during this process. 

The law has been around a long time: "As you sow, so shall you reap."

If you express love, love is what you know in your life. If you express joy, joy is what you know. If you express courage, like Patrick Swayze did, or my hero, Winston Churchill, then courage is what you know; courage is what your experience.

By the same token, if we express resentment, or fear, or other negative emotions, that is what we know. That is what we have to live with, and it is what we invite others to share.

I was thinking of these things the other night as I was surfing through the channels, and watched Glenn Beck on Fox News.

Truth is in Glenn Beck just as it is in each of us. He's just as concerned for the future of America as me or anyone else. And obviously he is entitled to his own views and perspective regarding the very serious needs and issues facing this country, just as we all are.

But he got me thinking about some things. One of them is this. Those on the frontline in the media have an especially challenging responsiblity in these days. Of course, I'm particularly interested in this area, as a former reporter, and as the son of a reporter.

In a time of wrenching change, media personalities have to be brave and unflinching in standing up for truth. Yet in my view they have to do that without getting personally involved in negative emotions such as I mentioned.

There is a fine line here that ultimately transcends politics. We are talking about character, and the kind of life we want to create for ourselves and our children -- for America and for the world.

We must be strong. We must do our best to stay calm. By no means do we need to bow to any external authority. Yet at the same time it's dangerous for our own health and happiness (and that of others) to be swept up in the currents of resentment and fear that are intensifying even as currents of love and compassion are also intensifying.

The quote from the psalm at the beginning of this post sums up something that I think is vital in this time. Incidentally, it’s dangerous, in a time of inevitable change, to try to hold on to the past -- or anything else. We are in a place where we haven't been before. 

There is a need for flexibility. There is a need for fairness and respect.

And in my view, there is a need for civility and respect, because that is the hallmark of true strength.

True character is both strong and gentle.

A thankful heart creates a thankful world. A joyful heart creates a joyful world. A courageous heart creates a courageous world.  A wise heart creates a wise world.

I'd love to know your thoughts. Please write, won’t you? America is at a crossroads again, just as it has been in times past.  I am quite sure it will rise to the occasion, and let the true qualities of our own divine character shine forth.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jill Campana September 18, 2009 at 12:47 pm

Beautifully written, Chris.

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Ingrid Boedecker September 19, 2009 at 11:45 am

Your beautiful words ring true for me, but I must ask my self to what extent do I live them in my moment to moment living?! One of the pivotal questions is what to do with emotions which arise, often unbidden, from within ourselves or from connections with the Whole of Mankind–after all, we are never separate.

What I have been discovering is that ‘stuffing’ emotions or trying to pretend they are not present is dishonest; similarly, projecting them onto others through blame and accusation, as has happened in the world heretofore, is uncreative and often downright destructive. However, viewing emotions as the temporal, transitory experiences that they are, we can allow the less creative ones to simply pass on through without any additional injections of energy from ourselves. By the same token, we can add our energetic support to the creative emotions of gratitude, blessing, love, acceptance and appreciation, allowing them to lift on angels wings and enfold the earth and the fullness thereof.

A motto from an outdoor adventure program called Educo sums it all up succinctly: “What is right is the point; what is wrong is beside the point.”

Blessings, Ingrid

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