“A Privilege Worth a Hard Earning” by Henry Ellison
It is the hardest task, the highest end,
Of all true wisdom, rightly understood,
To see the Ill, yet not o’erlook the Good,
Nor let the Ill beyond itself extend,
Nor o’er the sunny side its shadows send
Beyond its own intrinsic magnitude,
As mountains cast their shadows far, and brood
At distance, and their own real bulk transcend.
’T is hard to school the heart to be, in spite
Of injury and envy, generous still;
In seeing Good alone to take delight,
And to forget, or to forgive, the Ill:
And he who can do this, has still a right
To think godlike of man, and must, and will.
Dealing effectively with the mixtures in your circumstances and in those with whom you associate, either intimately or distantly, is one of the great challenges of living. It is unfortunately far too easy to let the ill overshadow the good and precedent to snuff out possibility. Because of this, few on earth have managed to find safe passage for their inner godliness through their mortal coil on a consistent basis.
The heart, as Ellison so deftly suggests, must be schooled to this end. As innocence is lost to injury and tragedy in the course of living, there is great risk of its hardening due to a lack of forgiveness. Forgiveness is the master teacher of the heart; it is the harbinger of healing and carries with it the promise of compassion.
Learn to forgive and you will be relieved of the constant irritation caused by the ills in your world. The ills themselves may persist, but your attention will shift to the good that you may have otherwise overlooked.