A PIECE OF MY MIND

A Pilgrim’s Almanac by Edward Hays

(with Kristen’s commentary)…

That we live in an age of great tension is hardly news to us. We all live close tho the boiling point when it comes to anger and frustration. The causes are many — the hectic speed of daily life, over-commitments and financial burdens (COVID-19, civil unrest, media) — but they are all part of the invisible fires that burn beneath us.

As a result, on occasion we “boil over” (I had one such occasion yesterday) and give someone a “piece of our mind.” The receiver of that “piece” might be a clerk in a store or the next door neighbor who decides to mow their lawn at 6 o’clock on a Saturday morning (or a misunderstood text). And the “piece” that we give to such circumstances is a red-hot serving of anger!

What possible harm can come from letting off a little steam?” (My justification was that I deserve to have feelings… Really?) you might ask. “So what if I respond in justifiable anger to my neighbor or wife: who is harmed by such a small explosion?” Dominique Henri Pires, the winner of the 1958 Nobel Peace Prize, once said, “If an atomic bomb falls on the world tomorrow it is because I argued with my neighbor today.”

When we give someone a “piece” of our mind, it usually leads to an argument and to holding negative feelings toward the other. The statement of Pires makes little sense to us unless we also realize that our world is a single web in which each one of us, and all of life, is intimately connected. Everything we say, do or think has consequences for all or “global village.” All selfish behavior has painful results — if not immediately, then sometime in the future, the “tomorrow” to which Pires referred.

By our efforts at persevering in personal silent prayer and by constantly watching over our thoughts — undergirded by the grace of God — all of “Spaceship Earth” will come to live in peace. If we are sincere about these efforts, then we need not be afraid to give others a “piece of our mind,” for we will give them the peace of our mind! And to the degree that each one of us daily gives such “peaces” of our mind to strangers as well as to those with whom we live, we prevent nuclear war.

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