How about this for some Monday motivation?
I have previously posted Thomas Jefferson’s Canons of Conduct, also known as Jefferson’s 10 Commandments. I always find something new in these, when I come back to reading them.
- Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.
- Never trouble another for what you can do yourself.
- Never spend your money before you have it.
- Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap: it will never be dear to you.
- Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst, and cold.
- Never repent of having eaten too little.
- Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly.
- Don’t let the evils that have never happened cost you pain.
- Always take things by their smooth handle.
- When angry, count to ten before you speak; if very angry, count to 100.
I enjoy each of these. But, let me focus this blog on #9.
There has been some debate about what Jefferson meant by “always take things by their smooth handle”. Beyond what Captain Obvious would say, many interpret it to relate to the way we should properly handle opposing opinion and disagreement.
Jefferson probably was taking the concept of how to resolve an argument from a saying originally credited to Greek Philosopher Epictetus; who said, “Everything has two handles, one by which it can be borne and another by which it cannot”.
Epictetus was born a slave, and was granted freedom upon the death of Roman Emperor, Nero. He is credited with many sayings and thinking related to self control. That self discipline helps us, if we are able to control our opinions, impulses, desires and aversions.
This is a blog that I am really writing to me. How to resolve conflict? A good reminder is… not to grab the sharp handle! It’s all in my control. As Epictetus put it, “We are all travelers at an inn“. We win or lose, based on the battle within those 4 inches above our neck.
And for pic o’ day, this really is some good camping humor!!