It's easy to be nice and moral, to nice and moral people. That takes no special skill or talent.
But how much grace can you summon to deal with those who may not deserve (or even understand) your magnanimousness? How do you maintain the presence of mind needed to be kind and diplomatic to those whose souls are riven with arrogance, self-rightousness, gluttonous greed or unbridled wrath?
I've not stepped foot in a church in nearly a decade, but for whatever reason, as a secular man, my thoughts drifted to the words of Christ's Sermon on the Mount:
"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous alike. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even heathens do that? So I say: bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you."
By this measure, the scorecard for my actions these past few weeks is a mixed bag, with a few victories I can be genuinely proud of, and some spectacular failures that fill me with shame.
Good gravy, It seems I get all philosophical when I get past my bedtime.
And I see on my Google Cal there are further upcoming tests of my resolve and character at noon, 13:30, 16:15 and 19:00 tomorrow.