“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 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 to prove a point or to carve out a position of authority in the fallen world.
Last night’s (un)Presidential debate was one example among many.
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 I also wonder what the the world would look and feel like were we to have the courage to elect men of valor and kindness?
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.
Photo by Priscilla du Preez on Unsplash
2 thoughts on “Valor and Kindness”
It’s a good contrast. Courage/valor allows us to take action that involves risk. Kindness may have a different kind of risk embedded in it – the risk that comes with subordinating your own interests to those of another. Both valor and kindness are similar insofar as they are in short supply these days.
It’s odd to consider kindness as being risky. Love is the only sure bet.