“He is as full of valor as of kindness. Princely in both.” ― William Shakespeare, Henry V
There is something about the balanced demonstration of valor and kindness which has captivated my attention from a very young age. I remember seeing this in my father’s expression, perhaps unconsciously at first, but then consciously as I, as a young man, took the initial steps out of the self-centered state which is natural to children.
I recall his noting his quiet dignity, self-possession and willingness to face any challenge that came his way with a caring, but firm determination. It impressed me, especially given extremes to which others tend to go, in one direction or the other. People seem to organize themselves into more or less two camps, the “hard-asses” and the pushovers, but my dad had that rare ability to work at the balance point between these two extremes more often than not.
I couldn’t imagine a more fitting grandfather for my two sons, but in saying that I must admit that my sons’ other grandfather is, as Shakespeare put it so well, “as full of valor as of kindness.” As someone I was speaking with yesterday mentioned respectfully, he always seems to find the way to take the high road in the situations he faces.
What, dear readers, would be said of you in this regard? Have you struck this balance in your own expression? Do you meet challenges you face with valor and kindness, as the need may be? Or do you still find your expression being dictated by the circumstances at hand on occasion? Would you say you are more radiant or reactive when the pressure comes on?
The choices you make in this critical phase of living will go a long way to determining the impact your life has on the world around you.