Fear offers us a very plain choice; be courageous or be a coward. A hero or a reprobate. With quotes from Michel de Montaigne, Seneca, George R.R. Martin & William Shakespeare.
In his book ‘Mere Christianity’, C.S Lewis speaks about the ‘Law of Right and Wrong’ or the ‘Law of Nature’. “…human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it.”
“Blessed is he, who has learned to bear what he cannot change, and to give up with dignity, what he cannot save.” We take on the responsibility of appeasing someone’s feelings, foolishly attempting to control something we can’t. Quotes from Schiller & Huxley.
We rarely engage with gratitude, failing to see how much worse things could get. Henry Ward Beecher, G.K. Chesterton and Charles Dickens. Art by M. Raimondi
Jane Austen in 1814 said; “We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be”. Instead of believing that feelings of low self-esteem must be cast away immediately, first hear what they have to say.
Meister Eckhart (1260-1328) is quoted as saying “A human being has so many skins inside, covering the depths of the heart. We know so many things, but we don’t know ourselves! Why, thirty or forty skins or hides, as thick and hard as an ox’s or bear’s, cover the soul. Go into your own ground and learn to know yourself there.”
When we are mistreated, most of us react, and reactions are emotional. We get angry, upset and we grasp the wrongful treatment with both hands, like a crab might his dinner.
We look up at the ideal we fall so short of, embittered. If only that target wasn’t so high, or better again, if it didn’t exist at all, we wouldn’t appear so dreadful! In doing so, we bring the heavens crashing down to join us in the slums. Now we are level.
Like handing someone a glass of water while they are engulfed in flames, it does very little. The danger is that we are only really fulfilling our own need or want to be ‘compassionate’ people, in this vain sense.
Why would we assume bad intent? Maybe because we believe, on some level, it is no less than what we deserve.