Showing posts from October, 2016

Election Advice from John Wesley

From Wesley's journal:  October 3, 1774:
 I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and  advised them:
 1) To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most  worthy.
 2) To speak no evil of the person they voted against.
 3) To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on  the other side.

The Failure of Short Term Optimism

On September 6, 1965, Admiral James Stockdale’s A-4 Skyhawk was shot down over Viet Nam. The injured Stockdale found himself captured and imprisoned in the infamous “Hanoi Hilton”, where he was a prisoner of war for over seven years. He was the highest ranking naval officer held as a prisoner of war in the Viet Nam war.

 Stockdale was kept in solitary confinement for four years, placed in irons for two years, denied medical care and malnourished. Despite these terrible conditions, he led an “underground resistance movement” which brought hope and a sense of esprit de corps to his fellow POW’s. Still, many prisoners died under these grueling circumstances. Finally, in 1973, the brave admiral was released, and awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor is 1976 by President Ford.

 Several years later, author and researcher, Jim Collins, interviewed Stockdale in the campus of Stanford University, and asked the decorated offer how he coped with the demoralizing effects of his imprisonment.


The Measure of Character

Character matters -- and the way we treat and speak about others is character's best measurement.  Civility, unfortunately, is becoming an increasingly rare virtue in our society.  The divisive rhetoric in our land is increasing, and does nothing to bring us together.  The bridge of understanding is built through mutual respect.

 A big part of maturity is learning to disagree agreeably, and treating people with kindness, even if they don't share our values.

 Recently, I ran across this piece from an unknown poet which captures this ideas.  Though it was penned over 70 years ago (long before authors knew about inclusive language), the point certainly fits for our day and age:
 The man's no bigger than the way  He treats his fellow man;  This standard has his measure been  Since time, itself, began!
 He's measured not by tithes or creed  High-sounding though they be;  Not by the bold that's put aside;  Not by his sanctity;
 He's measured not by social rank,  Whe…