Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Kindness or integrity?

Is it better to choose kindness or integrity?

I have a bit of an A personality and in the past, I have found fault with many people. I used to confront, without much thinking, not being kind but feeling right. This has brought myself sometimes in some trouble. Sometimes the trouble was worth it, more often not. I have in the process definitely hurt people unnecessarily, which causes afterwards regrets and sorrow.

Over the years I have mellowed down quite a bit. I have slowly learned, I think, to postpone the immediate confrontation. This eliminated the impulsive (angry) reaction, that was causing often more damage than good. Giving myself some time to digest and look at it from a distance, often made me see how small and unworthy of further attention the case was. However if after a few days, the thing was still bothering me, I was capable of addressing the matter in a much more efficient way than during my younger years when I give more in to my type A thing. This being said, this does not mean I succeed all the time to avoid immediate confrontation. I think a certain level of self control is something we can exercise like our muscles and become stronger in it over time, but it never reaches absoluteness, I think.

As time went on, I have become a bit of a believer in unconditional love. That would favor the kind over the integrity approach. However we still need to remain assertive and not give up on trying to improve situations and conditions around us. Nowadays I tend to pray for guidance on how to deal best with situations, especially if they tend to become very difficult. If I do that, persistently, almost always solutions present themselves in sometimes unexpected ways.

If I sincerely look back on my own life, I have not always been an angel myself. That is to put it softly. I think my biggest asset over time, has been my regular reflection. I have often tried hard to do things right but so often too, it went terribly wrong. But reflecting on the mistakes and also on our perceived successes, is something I have always enjoyed and has contributed (and is still contributing) in a major way to my personal growth.

Here is a thought that appeared in my head while writing the above: If people do things that are obviously wrong, they often do quite a number of (other) things obviously right as well. If we focus on the right things for long enough, we may manage to become close enough of friends to guide and inspire them in a very positive way. (???)


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