Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Walking the narrow path

Some years ago a friend told of a question asked by her husband when she was in the throes of a ta-do.  He asked, "Would you rather be right or would you rather be happy?"  She chose, as I did and do, happy.  Every time.

We are, as a country and a planet, in a place of deep turmoil.  One of the things I know beyond any doubt is that my words will not change anyone's mind, nor will theirs change mine.  I forgot for a moment the truth of that.  It was an uncomfortable reminder.  Discord has no place in my life.  I simply do not believe in arguing, in feuds, in estrangements, in being at odds with those I love or even like.  I've learned through years of stress-induced ills and infirmities that fighting is very bad for my health.  It weakens the immune system, erases a quiet mind and produces only grief.  It steals sleep and the ability to trust in a good outcome.

I also don't believe that hate is an appropriate word to apply to other living things, least of all to my fellow humans.  Disagreement needs to include tolerance, the forebearing of hate-filled exchanges, of baiting, demeaning, ridiculing, insulting, oppressing, bullying.  It is unreasonable to expect to hold the moral high ground when one is spouting venom, no matter how perfume-drenched it may be.

I do not feel we are required to explain ourselves to others.  I believe all are entitled to the dignity of choice, for which we each have very personal reasons, strongly held ideas.

It is a narrow path, trying to walk through this mine field, not staying neutral but maintaining what I hope can be a respectful silence.   My voice added to the din would only make it louder.  I hear of families so divided they cannot sit together at the Thanksgiving table, detente a distant illusion.  My immediate family, never exactly large, has dwindled.  Its members are too rare and precious, our years here growing too short to treat recklessly in the election's aftermath.  A harmonious life is hard-won, not by abandoning our truths but by asking them to sit quietly in the back seat for the duration of the ride. 

9 comments:

Jane Gilchrist said...

important thoughts and words. It can sometimes be difficult to take a stand (which is good) without stepping on someone else. I believe the best way for me to do that is to answer truthfully, my feelings, when asked. Not to give my opinion when no one is asking for it.

michelle said...

i think maybe we were separated at birth

Marylinn Kelly said...

Jane - There is the key, not giving my opinion when no one has asked. And even then, proceeding with caution. So much of life is about prioritizing. I gain nothing by causing discomfort to another. Plenty of my conversations take place inside my head. I'm okay with that. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Michelle - I think you're right. I've visited your "just eat it" blog and recognized a twin immediately. Tiptoeing into the uncertain future together, but then it was always uncertain. Very happy you visited and commented here. xo

Kass said...

Wonderful and sane.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Kass - Thank you. xo

Bohemian said...

Oh what a Beautiful Post... Yes, I allow others their opinions regardless of how I might Feel about any of it... if inclined to want to debate it with me my usual response is... You Could be Right... ends the whole discussion. I have no Need to be Right, I will even forfeit it to ensure a Peaceful and Harmonious existence with others who don't share similar viewpoints to my own. I do Believe most people are very Passionate about their Truth as they see it... I never presume to know which filters they view the world around them since I have not had their experiences nor walked in their shoes. I do Hate that the past Election created some much divisiveness and I Pray that instead of becoming a Divided States of American we can find it within each of us to remain United and stand, to choose Love and Peace over Hate and being Confrontational or Unlovely towards any of Humanity. Love and Unity are what I have Hope 2017 will have a Foundation of to build upon... Merry Christmas from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

Bohemian said...

Oops sorry about the typos... I meant so much divisiveness and Divided States of America... arthritis and typing have their challenges... winks... Dawn... The Bohemian

Marylinn Kelly said...

Dawn/The Bohemian - Thank you. I also agonize over the divisiveness that seems to have overtaken us. We all have our reasons for what we do, what we choose and I feel strongly that we are not required to explain. Harmony above the small matter of being right, I so agree. Have a beautiful New Year. May harmony, somehow, reign. xo