via Daily Prompt: Mercy
via Daily Prompt: Mercy
via Daily Prompt: Bury
It can’t be bought or sold, but it can be planted and cultivated. Don’t even try to understand it because you won’t. However, you’ll recognize it when it’s around, and you’ll know when it’s gone. It’s both accessible and elusive. While it is the opposite of strife, men have fought wars to gain it without knowing it comes from within. What I’m talking about is peace.
I can usually predict when an otherwise well-kempt student is going to have a bad day by looking at their hair. Almost invariably, if they come into the classroom in the morning with uncombed or unfixed hair, their behavior follows suit for that day. They generally cause problems during instruction, in the hallway, or in the cafeteria. Sometimes, they end up getting in a physical fight with a classmate. They may blame their opponent for starting the fight with them but after some prodding, you realize that the fight began with them before they arrived at school. They had an issue that began at home that was not resolved and since misery likes company, they brought it to school.
Anger, resentment, frustration, hate, and bitterness create inner turmoil. These emotions rupture our internal equilibrium, and if left unresolved can destroy our lives. If a spouse offends us and we don’t talk about the problem. we set ourselves up for a divorce. One small hurt festers into something big. We all have problems in our lives; how we handle them is what separates the resourceful from the helpless. Failure to acknowledge our issues or burying our anger is not the best way to deal with the challenges that we face every day. We must recognize and deal with negative emotions head on so that they don’t overwhelm us.
It does not mean that we are in control of our emotional well-being because we don’t go to work throwing chairs and firing shots at our coworkers. Disparaging a subordinate in front of others, agreeing with wrong simply to please others, and covertly discriminating against someone because of the person’s race, gender, and origin are symptomatic of deeper problems in our lives. We hurt others because we have hurt. Unfortunately, many of us don’t even know that we do and if it’s revealed to us, we will not admit it because we are afraid to confront us. We have been taught so long to bury our emotions to save face that we have become numb to ourselves. Consequently, we have a lot of functional dysfunctional people working in our institutions.
They are a disaster waiting to happen.
We see it over and over again in the news. Mother murders children. Judge commits suicide. Doctor shoots former coworkers. The list goes on, but I must not forget the number of killings carried out by disgruntled postal workers in recent years. It became so frequent that the expression “going postal” has become part of our vocabulary. It’s sad that people laugh at this expression.
Lack of peace is not a laughing matter. Although we shy away from talking about it, we are seeing the effects of it in our society and in other parts of the world. There are wars and rumors in foreign lands, terrorism, and unthinkable forms of an atrocity of man against man. In our country, it seems like every man is against his brother and his brother against him. Nobody wants to bury the hatchet. From the highest to the lowest office in our land, people denigrate each other and engage in immoral and illegal acts, but are unwilling to admit wrong. All these are the result of the absence of peace.
To say that a person who has peace has a pollyannish view is mistaken. Having peace does not mean that one does have emotions like anger or that one is without problems. It means that one is able to cope with stress because one has or can access the resources for doing so. Moreover, one does not go into denial and buries the problem, hoping it will never resurface.
Since peace is not a commodity we buy in the store, it can only be accessed spiritually. God is the beginning and end of real peace, and without Him, there is no right calm. Those who accept Him will receive His peace and exude it. There are many assuring scriptures that He has given us to keep us as we journey through this life:
via Daily Prompt: Volume
Youth makes us invincible. The young are edgy and restless because of the great energy that their bodies produce. It seems like they are in a mad dash to get all they can in that space between birth and death. Young men take risks and old men practice restraint because they carry memories or bear the scars of past actions. What we do in that time is what defines us: whether we are trapped by fate or by our own volition.
It is during the early part of their lives that men marry, fight wars, conquer lands, start businesses, make discoveries and create inventions. Optimism and ambition drive them: one conquest is the fuel for another. Satisfaction wanes as quickly as it appears. They have not acquired the burden of knowledge that comes from experience and they leap into situations where angels fear to tread. However, a man’s life does not stop because he gets older. Rather, he narrows his field of activity for reason of strength or lack of it; the weight of responsibility; and wisdom acquired through experience.
To err is human and we cannot escape missteps and failures.The frequency and the magnitude of our errors; and how we handle them contribute to the tales of our lives. How we treat our talents, time, the earth, ourselves, and others also increase the volume of our story. To what extent our lives are determined by the nature-nurture argument is yet to be answered. However, we are certain that the choices we make daily impact our lives greatly. Choices have consequences, whether those choices are good or bad. Shakespeare notes that “The evil that men do lives after them; but the good they do is oft interred with their bones.”
Although there is some truth to this belief, I think both and good actions have lasting effects even after a man dies. Children will continue to live out the virtues and vices that have been taught to them even after several generations, and others reap the benefits of both the spiritual and physical legacies of their predecessors. We are the ones who write the story of our lives and not others. Although we write it, we will never be able to read its final chapter because we all have an expiration date. God alone will be able to truly judge the volume of our lives. Therefore, like Solomon, I adjure all men to know that”