April 24, 2020-
“To whom much is given, much is expected.” I have heard this since childhood, and know that it has applied to me, more often than not. It has given rise to two key aspects of my personality: Owning my mistakes and never walking away from a fight.
The first has led me to admit, readily, when I’m wrong, even if it has meant the loss of a job. That admission has then propelled me to look into WHERE I went wrong and to investigate further into the issue at hand. When called out, I have to recognize where the critic is correct, but also not take either the information that is being challenged or the critic’s position at face value. It has quite often ended up with the silver lining of the truth being uncovered. As ‘Abdu’l-Baha once wrote: “The shining spark of truth cometh forth only after the clash of differing opinions.”
Standing up to someone who is more aggressive has been ingrained in me, since childhood. I did walk away, once, from a beat down, when I was in VietNam. That was a matter of not walking into something that would have been detrimental to both me and the individual who was seeking the confrontation. I would have suffered possible head injuries and he, being on thin ice with the military brass, would have looked at a long stretch in Leavenworth. He eventually realized that, after a period of harping on my refusal to engage in a bare-knuckled fist fight.
That was an anomaly. What was consistent is that I didn’t run away crying. I never have. Back in Saugus, that would only have brought more trouble down on my head. Life since then has been much the same. I’ve had a lot of positive experiences in life, because of being willing to stand up to aggression. In the process, also, many innocents have been spared-especially when helping abused children speak truth to power.
I think about these tonight, in working to get to the bottom of some rather deep controversies being sparked by the words of our president-and of some of his critics. Both sides are tossing brickbats. I will get hit by some of those, but have no choice other than to go about finding the truth.