... People are not the same.
...Assume you value honesty. For you, then, liars are
less valuable than people with integrity.
So, people are not equal because some are more valuable than others.
... Rabbits are biologically designed to be much faster than turtles.
However, a rabbit’s laziness or a turtle’s hard work changes everything.
The quantity and quality of our work undermine equality. ...In what way are we equal?
We are all Homo sapiens. ... We will all die, and our mortality is caused
by our shared genes. We are all the same kind of thing.
...If you think there is a way in which no person should be treated,
then that applies to you, me, and all humans... If you value a virtue,
such as honesty, that’s a way for you to differentiate someone’s worth.
Assuming honesty is valuable and honest people are more valuable than liars,
you have grounds for respecting honest people more than liars... In my opinion,
we are not perfectly equal. If it were true that people are exactly the same,
then it would be false that anyone of us is special.
Another thing we have in common is that we are all unique...
... Aristotle is famous for saying that we all naturally desire knowledge. But do we always want to know the truth? (Cue Mario Winans’ “I don’t Wanna Know”.) ...
For the complete blog post, see immediately below.
Asking for forgiveness requires understanding that wrong has been done. Forgiveness, when given freely, excuses the wrongdoing. But excusing the wrongdoing does not mean there is an excuse for doing wrong, only that the wronger can feel free from heavy guilt. Seeking forgiveness takes courage because it takes acknowledging that there is guilt that needs to be lifted. Only the both humble and courageous have the power to ask for forgiveness. One who does not recognize fault in their action would say "I do not need forgiveness. I should not have to apologize." In other words, "you do not have to free me from guilt because I have no reason to feel guilty."
Being owed an apology can be a fire that burns. When someone wrongs you and then asks for forgiveness, you have the power to excuse or release them of their fault. Like telling a child "no, you may not be excused. Sit until you finish your vegetables," telling someone you do not forgive them reinforces what chains them to their fault. To deny forgiveness on purpose is to maintain a power that burns. A Buddha said, "Holding on to anger is like holding on to a lump of hot coal intending to throw it at someone; in the end, you burn." Forgiving is one way of being powerful enough to let go of your powers over others. To forgive is to unchain, to free them from the obligation to feel bad for their fault. It is powerful to free others.
True forgiveness does not involve documenting the excused wrongs. To forgive does not involve saving the event for later use, to recall it, and throw it at the forgiven as a reminder of their wrongs or of your mightiness for fake forgiving. True forgiveness implies squashing the event, leaving it in the past and moving forward from it.
Waiting for an apology gives the wrongdoer power over you. You might feel better when they say so; that is, when they choose to say "sorry." Take the power in your own hands. Forgive all on your own. Forgiving others frees yourself. To forgive someone for their transgression is to free yourself of the burden of demanding apology. Forgiving frees you of waiting for it, expecting it, wanting, or needing it. To forgive is freeing, and it is most powerful when you do the freeing. We might, each one of us, find one dozen reasons each day to feel angry, disappointed, or other emotions which demand an apology. Sometimes we get the apology and sometimes we don't. The powerful person is he who can forgive with or without receiving from the wrongdoer a sincere or rehearsed apology.
You are someone who will do wrong to others much in the way you are someone who will be wronged by someone. You might even wrong yourself. When practicing the art and skill of forgiving, remember, you are someone who needs to forgive others and seek forgiveness from others. And forgive yourself. There is little difference between forgiving yourself and others. If you find it is much easier to forgive others, you are being too critical on yourself. If you find it is much easier to forgive yourself, you are not being fair to others.
We are, all of us, susceptible to falling in public. Falling is a mistake. There is elegance and grace in being humble and courageous enough to laugh when you fall in public. In doing so, it is harder for people to laugh at you and more comfortable for people to laugh with you. To intentionally avoid forgiving yourself or others is like demanding that noone mistakenly falls. Forgiving is the laughter from understanding we all make mistakes. We all make mistakes, forgive them.
Life is difficult. Trust me. I would know. Life used to be hard for me because I was soft. I became tough, and still ran into challenges. It’s not that I’m still too weak, it’s that life is difficult.
Life is difficult because we often casually hold ourselves back from progress. You could be laying awake at midnight after a long day of feeling tired at work. Laying there, a great idea comes to you. You know you won’t remember it in the morning. Maybe your kid just finally fell asleep in your arms, maybe your spouse is sleeping with their arm around you, maybe your mistress would say something awkward if you moved and they accidentally woke, or maybe you’re laying alone but are too lazy to write the idea. Whatever the specific reason, there’s something holding us back from cashing in. Either we hold ourselves back or we give something the power over us to hold us back. Either way, we don’t progress.
Life is difficult because it’s not easy to mature. Growing pains are easy to numb. Stunting our growth comes at the price we can all afford. Paying attention is expensive. It’s painfully honest for a reason. We grow from being big enough to speak our truth come what price may.
If most people are fake, then there is no incentive to be genuine. Fitting in well is comfortable. Standing out means scrutiny. So long as we commonly pretend we’re doing our best, no one has to work too hard. We can remain on coast and all win. Stay soft. Say life is plain hard. No pressure to get tougher and overcome.
Life is difficult because the choice is ours to make whether we want to fight for goodness. No one makes the decision for you. Though some will lead you astray. The paths to righteousness are not marked well. Falling into temptation is easy, falling off the good path comes quick and spins out of control. Remaining good with your soul requires constant and continuous work.
Will you work hard when you don’t have to? The question is will you? Exactly that. Do you will it? It is not about what you want. You want success. Wanting does not mean willing to do what is required. Doing what is required does not always involve doing what is wanted. Willing the good involves doing what is required. Discipline, laws, rules, structure. These are the things that make us feel uncomfortable and take us beyond our comfort zones. Our emotions cringe. We are pained. And we grow. Progress. Improvement. Actual change comes from willing to do what is required. If you will it, then you will.
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