I heard about a teacher who was talking about the futility of quarrelling. As he spoke, he related something his father had told him. His father was a clerical authority in his hometown of Dublin. As such, he owned a seal that he used in order to officialise documents. He told his adult son that one day, people stole his seal, and without his permission used it to sign official proclamations. His son asked his father then why he didn’t refute these proclamation in a public statement, thus exposing the guilty parties. The father answered something to the essence of,
“I am afraid that if I protest against the forgery, the people who did this to me will be angry at me and try to provoke me to anger. In any case, it will provoke some sort of issue that will cause me to waste my time and distract me from my more important duties.”
In his clerical care of people, this man had seen quarrels destroy lives, both on a national and domestic level. He felt that peace was essential for growth and an overall good life. He often taught that even if someone has many positive things in his life, he is not be able to enjoy it if he is quarrelsome and argumentative. This man’s philosophy was that most quarrels can be avoided if we just sensibly think about how irrational and counterproductive it is to waste time and energy in quarrels that really don’t make any practical differences anyways. He taught that before getting involved in a dispute, people should first ask themselves, “Is it worthwhile?”
I liked reading that article about this Irish man. I felt that it was a good philosophy, one that could bring peace to many a household.
Patrick G. Lumbroso
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