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Poster: Donald Wagner <polearmed@worldnet.att.net>


I don't know why I am responding to the request for ideas of courtesy,
honor, etc.  I generally like to listen to these, but I had an epiphany
of sorts this weekend.  This is more of a letter spew than response. 

It seems to me that the paragon of virtue, or the purest of courtesies,
is the act of providing the quiet example for others to follow.  A quiet
example is one that is shown, regardless of whether or not anyone is
watching.  The quiet example happens whether or not anyone else is there
to see it, and no admonishment follows it.  In other words, the quiet
example is tempered with humility and is shown to one's self more than
other people.  Its result can be wonderful, or not even noticeable.

The quiet example has an opposite, too.  The opposite is rarely good,
never quiet, and driven by the purpose of being seen.  It is tempered
with all manner of things(i.e. anger, frustration, avarice, narcissism,
and occasionally good intentions) but humility.   Its result can be
devastating, or not even noticeable.

After seventeen years of hanging around us folks in funny clothes, I
know this lesson well, but my application is still lacking.  Thankfully,
these examples can be like the magic mirror - you can see yourself in
them.  I watched myself in one example and was prided that I behaved
that way, too.  Then I was simply horrified when I saw myself in another
example.  Though it was someone else's behavior, I am capable of and
guilty of the same thing, in the same way, with no excuses.  I can and
have been the horrible thing I saw.  The realization that my children
may have seen me act that way before is horrible enough.  What other
examples around them have I influenced in the wrong manner?

My point: there is value in both types of examples, when you use them
for introspect and when you consciously measure yourself against the
good and bad you see.  Understanding that this is a fundamental activity
that makes better people, should give us that sense of urgency needed to
always be cognizant of what example we are showing.

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