Life is experienced on a tightrope.
Fine lines of distinction separate This from That.
As an example, the short riddle below, comprised of two sentences, is deserving of being solved. It will be our segue into the Thought Du Jour.
Each sentence is accurate.
Together, they become powerful in thought and deed.
Don’t answer the foolish arguments of fools, or you will become as foolish as they are.
Be sure to answer the foolish arguments of fools, or they will become wise in their own estimation.
While appearing contradictory, the Secret is within each of us, at our core. If we know who we are and are generous of spirit, the ‘answer’ becomes obvious:
We refuse to follow a foolish person down rabbit trails — and, we boldly share our beliefs with them.
Men of Steel and Velvet
You might ask, “What does this have to do with men of Steel and Velvet?”
The answer, “They can be firm and soft — at the same time.”
In fact, they are who they are — yet, they generously share of themselves. The perception of these differences become reality when interacting with the individuals who approach them. For example — these men of Steel and Velvet have the patience of a Saint. Some people will recognize the character trait as a virtue — others will perceive the same trait as weakness.
Two Sides of Same Coin
The first group will experience the softness flowing from mutual respect — as stories are shared. The second group will experience the hardness resulting from a rude awakening — as they are jolted from their ill-conceived perception to the harsh reality of a definitive limit. While giving the benefit of the doubt, these men of Steel and Velvet will defend their boundaries — for the benefit of those who seek protection.
Boundaries are simply ‘fine lines of distinction’. One of these fine lines separates forgiveness from flaccidity. Forgiveness is hard (to do) — flaccidity is (by its very definition) soft. Forgiveness lets us enjoy the present moment — while moving forward into a future of opportunities. Flaccidity is for those who allow themselves to be a doormat for the feet of their enemies — while remaining tethered to the past.
Lambs to the Wolves
Is it possible for lambs to move through a pack of wolves? What is the Secret to that?! Answer: “We are to be as wise as snakes and as innocent as doves.”
Wisdom is the forerunner to success. In fact, a four letter word is the pun intended to create a new beginning in our lives — Fore.
Yes — that which comes before. Have you ever wondered how generous people got to be that way? They give here, there, and everywhere. What came first? What is at the very beginning of their current efforts?
Answer, “Fore-give” — and, in the vernacular, Forgive.
One of the best definitions of forgiveness was received in a place far removed from a religious setting. Yet, it dovetails with a belief in a Higher Power and summarizes the distinct black and white choice we will each make in our, individual, lives.
Forgiveness: Let go of the notion that there can be a better, or different, yesterday.
Simple enough. Yet, check your thoughts. Where are they? Dwelling on an episode, conversation, mistake, hurt, offense, etc. of the Past? If so, look again at the definition above.
“But”, you might say, “I have tried to forgive and that person does not deserve it, will not accept it, continues to do it, etc.” (the excuses continue on ad infinitum and ad nauseam)
Fore-giving is not about anyone else. It is about us and totally within our control.
Does it mean we condone the actions of another? No.
Does it mean we continue to allow another to use and abuse us? Heck, no!
Does it mean we forget, for now, with hopes of revenge, later? Again, the answer is — No.
We, simply — Let go of the notion that there can be a better, or different, yesterday.
Then, we assuage ourselves with, “Right here, right now, it’s great to be alive!”
Many will choose to be offended. They will be envious of the peace and tranquility in our lives. The pathologically challenged will remain tethered to their past, while we move forward.
Each new day will bring the tightropes for us to walk boldly and in balance. Through it all, we retain our innocence by being able and willing to, quickly, ask for forgiveness when we are wrong and offering it freely to erase the foibles of others. By doing so we achieve —
We ignore the foolish arguments — while sharing our core beliefs.
We wisely chart our course through danger — while being careful to remain harmless.
We forgive ourselves and others — while receiving an invitation to the future.
We, eventually, learn the inherent principle of Steel and Velvet —
Easy is hard and Hard is easy.