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fight harmlessly

17 Sep

How gladly, my young friend, I would respond to your new leaflet;conflict (3)
but here the words come hard to me.
On the whole
I want to acknowledge
that you do well to approach this conflict
as a matter intimately related
to your own disposition.
This is surely the most responsible attitude.
You
must
only
take
care
to eliminate

from the tone
you use

all
consternation and
reproachfulness.

My friend,
this is important:

fight
harmlessly.

~ Rilke

Conflict Resolution Wheel

sometimes, this might come in handy

Good counsel. Good for pastors and politicians;
good for bloggers and posters; good for human beings.

It seems we typically find ourselves at one of two extremes:

We fight not.
We fight destructively.

In my experience, the first extreme leads to the explosion of the second.

Perhaps we would do well to fight early and harmlessly, rather than, maintaining a peaceful facade, to fight later and go nuclear.

(I say this as an experienced stuffer

And now, two Jewish rabbis add their voices to the German poet:

Rabbi Paul: 

“Run away from infantile indulgence. Run after mature righteousness—faith, love, peace—joining those who are in honest and serious prayer before God. Refuse to get involved in inane discussions; they always end up in fights. God’s servant must not be argumentative, but a gentle listener and a teacher who keeps cool, working firmly but patiently with those who refuse to obey. You never know how or when God might sober them up with a change of heart and a turning to the truth, enabling them to escape the Devil’s trap, where they are caught and held captive, forced to run his errands.” (2 Timothy 2.24-26)

Conflict1

cemeteries are quiet places

Rabbi Lawrence:

“Arnold Wolf believed in a sharp division of labor in which lay-people should run their congregations and rabbis should teach them Torah. He renounced all coercive rabbinic power and that, in turn, freed him to say whatever he thought. He believed that it is the inevitable nature of groups to argue and that a rabbi’s job, therefore, is to make sure they argue about important things and fight fair.”  (I’m God, You’re Not)

Fight.
Harmlessly.

conflict (1)

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Posted by on September 17, 2013 in Poetry

 

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