Goodnesss Gone on a Tangent

Dec 19 22:00 2001 Ruth Marlene Friesen Print This Article

The problem with being ... is you can gooff to wrong extremes like gushy ... ... empathy, or taking up offenses on ... of ... is true for all good characte


The problem with being compassionate is you can go
off to wrong extremes like gushy sentimentalism,Guest Posting
undiscerning empathy, or taking up offenses on the
behalf of others.

This is true for all good character traits. If we
lose balance, each of the positives about us can
wander off on a tangent and become something bad.

Here's another example; the problem with being
discrete is the potential for over-cautiousness,
secretiveness, timidness, and sometimes just scaring
ourselves out of doing or saying anything.

The fair-minded can be so concerned about weighing
all the pros and cons that they become indecisive
and indiscriminate.

I stumbled on this while looking for positive traits
in someone that I've neglected to encourage. Maybe
you knew it, and I think I sort of did, but now this
dawns on me in a new light.

If we have an irregular person in our lives, who seems
to have nothing but negative traits, try looking for
that "seed of greatness" (as Zig Ziggler calls it),
in that person - a good trait that has gone off on a
tangent.

I like to think of myself as compassionate and discrete,
but I have to admit I have gone overboard and been
downright gushy, and sometimes given disproportionate
attention for the wrong things. Or, I've been wrongly
discrete by becoming secretive and timid and not even
saying a few appropriate words. So I have to agree
that this principle holds water.

But now is it really possible to look at someone who
is exhibiting a wrong behaviour and thinking, "I know
that person has a seed for [your example], so I will
recognize and respond to that, and hope to bring
him back on track." Assuming, of course, that as we
dwell on their positive trait, it will be nurtured and
grow stronger, and thus change that person.

Wouldn't that be first class intentional friendship?!
Are you willing to experiment with this? Let me know
your results. We may have material for a good book.

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Ruth Marlene Friesen
Ruth Marlene Friesen

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