Saturday, April 22, 2006

The Way of a Lady: Rule Fourteen

A Lady is Gracious.
She has a polite word for the impolite.

A Lady is an ad hoc governess of the social world she inhabits. The good she does is striving to bring a law that makes peace and pleasantness. There is very little in the way of a police action sort of discipline that a lady has at her disposal. The discipline she has is the vision others have of herself, her standards, and her efforts. That vision becomes acute and riveting when a rudeness is expressed by some participant. The person that, in her company, commits an impoliteness has done so in vivid comparison to the polite. The polite word in response to this rachets up the comparison in all who view it. Mercy often is a greater demonstration of the good than meeting the just punishments of the law would be. "A soft answer turns away wrath." A gracious response to someone who is undeserving is not just a handy and powerful choice for discipline. It is also revelatory of the Lady's heart. Have all her efforts been moved by doing loving things to others or having her world her way. Is it primarily her peace she governs for or her society's peace. Since mercy is as logically connected to error as is judgment wrath, the opportunity which a rude error provides is the view into the offended party's character. Good hearts default easily to mercy while self serving hearts cry out for punishment.

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