Time for magnanimity
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It's either a bright sunny day or the blues. That’s what happens after the elections. Not everyone can be winners. There will always be losers. But whether one is in or out, what we should try to avoid is to become spoiled winners or sore losers.
The political exercises we just had are just that—some kind of sports. We play to win, we do our best, yet in spite of all, we should not be surprised if we lose. And we just have to move on. Of course, if we win, then we should also be ready for the usual bad elements that go with the winning.
Now is the time for magnanimity, deleting the heady, intoxicating surge of victory or the depressing load of defeat. This is not the end of the world yet. And while we are still on the road, we just have to try our best to learn precious lessons along the way.
We need to enlarge our heart, to make it more universal to accommodate everyone and any situation and condition properly. We should evade being caught by the grip of our strong views, and even our positions that we think are so essential that they are not anymore subject to opinion.
This is our usual pitfall that we should try to be wary about always. We have the strong tendency to dominate others especially in a game or exercise for which we give an all-out interest and spend so much money and effort.
In the first place, we really need to purify our intentions before, during and after any race or contest. The intention should be to give glory to God, to show our love for him and for everyone, the common good, through acts of service.
When that intention is corrupted, that is, when it orients itself to oneself rather than on the common good based on God’s will, then we enter into a predicament, a highly toxic situation. We actually would be setting ourselves for a most painful fall.
We need to be very attentive to this need because many are the elements and factors every step of the way that would tend to grab us to make rash judgments, uncharitable thoughts, petty envies, raging anger and hatred.
We are prone to fall into what is called as bitter zeal and self-righteousness, and a spiral of worries, anxieties and resentments. That’s when we think we are the sole owner of what is right, true and fair. We would become Machiavellian to protect and defend our positions.
Without magnanimity, we easily become emotional, that is, we think with our emotions rather than with reason, and much less, with our faith, hope and charity. We caricaturize the positions of opponents while canonizing ours.
Without magnanimity, we fail to understand why others think the way they do. There’s always some reason, perhaps flimsy to us but very convincing to them, as to why they think they do. But we tend to make our own views the absolute truth.
In short, without magnanimity, we become rigid, short-sighted and narrow-minded, unable to go through the humane process of analyzing and clarifying issues. Obviously, it would be difficult for us to be tactful and courteous in the discussions and argumentations.
Let’s be sport and magnanimous. We should think well of the others no matter how different and even in conflict our views may be. The ideal is that while we can have different and even conflicting views, we manage to be friendly to everyone. We would have no enemies.
We should focus more on what is essential rather than on the incidentals. And if the discussion centers more on what is essential and what is incidental, then we should proceed with extreme caution and prudence, knowing to choose the right words and the right timing.
We need to have a firm grip on our feelings and passions. That’s why we should make part of system the practice of self-discipline. We cannot overemphasize this. A person who may be bright and articulate but lacks self-discipline would be a pure pain in the neck.
There are times when that self-discipline expresses itself in just absorbing all the dirt that can be thrown to us without reacting immediately. Self-discipline enables us to see things in a much wider perspective, and equips us with the skill to know when to wait and when to move, when to speak and when to keep quiet.
Let’s take advantage of the little daily opportunities to practice and grow in magnanimity in our dealings with people.