A quick mind is not always a blessing, in that the mouth has often spoken before the soul has had time to gauge the temperature of the message. It’s not just for the sake of others that we should learn to use constraint in our thoughts, words and deeds. We have a lot to gain from self-control and discipline, especially when it comes to the emotional reactions we have or might have while our buttons are being pushed! Often times, we react before we have had time to assess the value, venom or vile in our own words! And our words can be even more harmful within us than they are powerful or life-altering to others.
It’s not entirely unacceptable or ill-advised to criticize, to reproach or to correct others in their behaviors and speech; but when we do, we expose ourselves to all of that in return, all while exposing at heart our motive in doing so. Unless we are doing so to help the other person, to rectify a misjudgment or to correct the circumstances within a particular situation, we’re possibly lashing out just to be right. And that is often not as advisable a seat from which to launch an attack on someone! We all have our right to opinion, belief and freedom of expression. So when another shares an opinion in which we have a momentary negative reaction, perhaps it provokes in us some anger, then we owe it to all concerned to examine why we feel as we do. Perhaps we’ve jumped to our reaction. Maybe we’re not open to a new point of view. And just maybe it is something we know for a fact is wrong or ill-advised. The best response is always a thoughtful one! If we know there is a price within us for our words, thoughts, deeds and the way we behave towards others, then we will temper and measure from within first. We should share with others our opinions, beliefs and thoughts. We should act in accordance with those. But we shouldn’t assume that our way is the only way, that we are always right or that it is up to us to change others to suit us!
Too many people nowadays react and respond without thinking through the cost of such a step to those involved and more importantly even, to themselves. We must learn to mature in our ability to control our emotions, such that when we feel the need to react, we are first able to control and discipline ourselves enough to examine our own reaction prior to responding. Maturity is not about having the need to be right all the time or the requirement to vindicate one’s own beliefs, thoughts, words or actions. Maturity requires a more disciplined and controlled approach to life; it requires going beyond the seconds involved in a reaction and response, to consider what might happen next. Maturity looks ahead at the cost of reactions and responses, it weighs the virtue or detriment to every thought, word and deed. It measures the soul’s weight before and after an emotion, considering the potential for baggage which comes from reacting in error! Maturity teaches us the invaluable lesson of responsibility, consequence and lightening our soul’s load. Maturity within gives us confidence and supports our self-esteem, so that we don’t have to prove our ego’s cries for vindication, rightness or acclaim! And when we learn those lessons, we are more civil in society; we aren’t as concerned with our ego’s own need to be right, we’re less fragile and insecure, we’ve less need to put others down for the sake of building ourselves up. We truly are more tolerant and accepting, no matter the opinions, words, beliefs, thoughts and deeds of others! Inner peace is the badge of honor we get to possess when we master a level of maturity which self-controls and self-disciplines emotions, reactions, and responses.