Write Again … An unworthy trait?

Published 7:20 pm Friday, May 4, 2018

“To know thyself is the foundation stone of knowledge.”

This profound statement is attributed to Socrates, I believe. It has survived the passage of many centuries, and is as valid today as it was when Greece was the most significant presence on earth. The cradle of democracy. And a cultural influence down through the ages, in so many diverse ways.

Would you think that most of us, some of us, really know ourselves? And if we do, are we honest enough to admit what we know? To ourselves, to others? Or are we in denial?

Among the less than worthy traits, characteristics I must admit about myself, is that I am not very bold.

In order to avoid conflict at almost any cost, over the last decade or more, I have kept my own counsel, not willing to express views that are counter to those of others with whom I might find myself at any given time.

I try to avoid being among those whose views aren’t similar to mine, and whose condemnation, even vitriol at times, might be directed at me. Of course, I am referring to the political sphere, where civil discourse is not the norm very often now.

And at the highest levels of political power some of our leaders rely on personal insults, belittling, disparaging any and all who dare to disagree with them. Such mean-spirited manifestations are not limited to those at the top of the political order, however. Such conduct exits from the White House to the Court House. There are those who like the slash and burn, divisive rhetoric. The meaner the better. To deny this is to, well, be in denial.

While such unhealthy disrespect has always been a part of our American political culture, perhaps at no time in our country’s history has it been so systemically prevalent.

Back to my admission that I’m not a brave person, in that I am unwilling to engage those whose views I cannot accept. I’m not proud of myself for remaining quiet. That is the easy way, however, and the way I have chosen. It diminishes my self-esteem, I admit.

I can justify this as a way to avoid conflict, because such depresses me greatly.

Many folks are also very intolerant of religious views that aren’t exactly like their own. Most definitely I avoid getting into that.

This unwillingness to “engage” is not an admirable trait, perhaps.

But it seems, at least to me, a commonsense way to avoid unpleasantness.

It just isn’t necessary that I have my “say.”

It makes things a lot more peaceful.