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Thursday, September 29, 2011


Charity is based upon a strong commitment born of generosity of spirit to maintain goodwill even with those with whom one strongly disagrees.  It is the virtue most in conflict with the innate drive to get even with and even to escalate ill feelings.  It stops bitter incrimination and retaliation at its source arising from one’s own instinct for retributive justice.  Charity in this sense requires an operative forgiving spirit.  Charity never presupposes that the opposition was or is right or that one must hide one’s true beliefs and feelings that happen to be in conflict.  Charity cannot be a product of deceit or hypocrisy.  Charity proceeds on the assumption that the opposition was (is) guided by their best lights, and that they must be so respected for their innate integrity.  Ending wars of tit for tat start with a deep approval of the person while maintaining disapproval of their positions.  This is not a subtle or overly fine point.  It is readily possible to love the person while disputing their positions.  A trivial example comes to mind.  Anytime one brings a puppy home for a pet, one is in for great aggravation and unpleasantness—but this does not stop one from loving the pet.  When one has a generous spirit, it is possible to love the opposition in the midst of heated disputes.  A dispute in which goodwill is present sticks to the issues and does not sling personal attacks.  Mutual respect and cordiality are maintained by assiduous commitment to the charity principle.  Conflict so defined will always contrast greatly from the demonic dramatics of professional wrestling.

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