Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Discretion Is the Better Part of Just about Anything

Discretion is the better part of just about anything. It's important to recognize and acknowledge that.

I can't say everything I might want to say in any group with whom I associate. I weigh my words all the time, both to consider their effect on me and to be careful of their effect on those who hear them. I try not to be misunderstood, even if I'm not fully understood. I don't succeed all the time in that effort, but I try. 

That's just part of life. Anything else is selfishness and lack of charity.

It's easy to forget that and think that church life is or should be different - that it should be a place where we can forget discretion and just say whatever we think and believe without filters of any kind. It's not that way, and it can't be - since it's a gathering of people who are just as short-sighted and weak as I am.

I'm not looking to carve out any "otherness" in the Church for any group of people. I'm looking to be a Papa D Mormon - for John Doe to be a John Doe Mormon - for Whomever to be a Whomever Mormon, etc. That's all, but it's vitally important to me - and discretion is the better part of that - just as it is for our apostles and local leaders, I would add.

I think leaders really do try to accomplish that (use discretion) well over 90% of the time. Even in cases like I've described here in some threads, with decisions and actions that left me scratching my head in bewilderment and caused some people real pain, most of the time the leaders involved really are trying to do the best they can.

They're human. Life is pain, because we humans inflict pain - because even our best efforts are undertaken as we see through a glass, darkly.

That's all I'm saying - that, given our collective humanity, discretion is the better part of everything we do, in all situations, among the people in all of our associations. I can't control them; I try to control me, to the best of my ability; I hope that I will not be held to a higher standard than I can reach, so I try my hardest not to hold others to a higher standard than they can reach.

That's easy when I like the others and they aren't hurting me and others in any significant way; it's not so easy when I don't like the others and/or they are hurting me and others in real, significant ways. Sometimes, I need to bite my tongue; sometimes I need to speak out; always I need to exercise discretion and think before I act - including before I speak.

1 comment:

Patty said...

Thank you for the reminder. I needed it.