When Less Is the New More

October 28, 2010

A very difficult exchange recently occurred between a family member and myself.  While reparations were made to the extent possible, it was clear on the other side that a degree of  trust had been suspended.

Attempts at pleasant exchanges following the rift, the careful building blocks of a new day after the storm, were met with sugar-coated replies laden with subtle put-downs.  Especially painful coming from the person who had perpetrated the difficulty to begin with–admittedly exacerbated by my attempts to address it.  Guiding principles were speaking the truth in love and better is open rebuke than hidden love.

But not everyone wants to sort through stuff–or is ready to.

Some can tolerate more relational clutter, and do not want their views challenged.  Some of us do–though with love and respect.  For some, simply to be countered is to be attacked, the reason for much separation amongst otherwise perfectly compatible friends and loved ones.

As I carefully weighed out my response, with every intention of being light-hearted and respectful, I suddenly heard a divine whisper: ‘take the hit.’

I now wonder how long the hits will come before this person feels their arsenal is depleted.  Hope remains intact that what once was will be again, though stronger, as good repairs always supersede place of the breaking point.

There is surely a time to speak up, with respect and gentleness: but sometimes, it is stronger, more dignifying, peaceful, profitable and noble to say nothing at all; to  ‘take the hit.’ 

The desire to vindicate oneself may not be necessary.