Taking the High Road

Lately things have been so incredibly frustrating.

People who I liked and thought I understood have changed so I can’t understand where they are coming from.  They are operating in a reality I cannot follow them into, a world of black and white duality, no shades of gray, and belief in concepts that are provably untrue that easily equals religious fervor.

If I talk to them, and try to gently bring them back to the world of provable reality, they fight back, tell me I’m a fool, or engage in personal attacks.  They are right, after all, and no one should try to dissuade them.

The problem is, they collectively are leading the world off a cliff.  If they would just take a breath or three, perhaps distract themselves with something analytical, and put down that Kool-Aid cup things would be better for them.  They wouldn’t have to be afraid all the time, they would be able to see that there really is hope in the world and a future if you work for it.

These are all reasons for me to take the high road – the lofty path.  These people, no matter how deluded they are, are still people.  I may have absolutely no respect for their views, I may think they are leading the world into ruin, but in and of themselves, they are still people and worthy of being treated with dignity.

So I will not respond to the ad hominem attacks, I will not allow them to twist my words.  I will take the lofty path.


via Daily Prompt: Lofty


Flames of warmth and destruction

Fire and flames have been rather central to my life.

When I was young, I kept warm at a stove just like this – it provided all heat and ability to trash burner 1000.JPGcook.  My parents scavenged for wood at local building sites and behind supermarkets, burning scrap lumber and cut up old pallet boards.  I was used to fire, used to tending it.  I was as used to this as most are used to flipping on a light switch.  Later, when I owned my own home, 110 years old with faulty baseboards, I relearned how comforting flame is.  I love campfires.

I also learned respect for fire as my house burned down when I was six – it was fall, promising a hard winter in northern Idaho, the stove pipe was too close to the cedar shake siding, and we lost everything.

Fire is warmth and destruction, energy of creation and consuming anger.  As with all things, the internal flames of emotion are useful and warm when banked properly, the damper’s set just right, and you use good dry fuel.

Just like fire, the flames of emotion can be destructive or choke you out with smoke that makes it impossible to see when not tended properly, or allowed to get out of hand.

The mind, rational thought, is like that careful homeowner who sets the wood just right, keeps things managed, so you can warm your fingers and toes and boil a pot of tea.  Then emotion becomes something to inform and inspire you, not something that clouds the truth of how the world really is, or makes you sensitive to every little slight so you spend your life being consumed by the fire of rage.

via Daily Prompt: Flames