Thought for the Day

“How is he (the king) to keep in order thousands of thousands and govern them peaceably, when we small fathers of households cannot control the few we have? The truth is, that every house has one servant and many masters. The head serves everyone; those by whom he is served are to be reckoned as masters.” (25)

Background: Sir Walter Map ruminates on his many struggles running his small household. Often his workers would be found in scandal or their demands were hard met. They plotted against the good workers because of jealousy and that they looked bad by them.

Thought: The clear picture may, at first glance, not be one we are accustomed to. At the same time governing a nation has metaphorical links to governing a small household. The house master is burdened with many cares, ones that are often unseen. He is challenged to unite the many people under his command. Meanwhile, some of the workers may be considering their own gain more than the gain of the whole house. It is quite clear that a evil master is subject to the people as a whole, for they have more power over him. In a nation, elections show that leaders are chosen. It seems that those with more power have greater responsibility which can be burdensome. At the same time, this interesting perspective from Map shows us the duality of relations between ruler and ruled, boss and worker, father and child. There has to be a cordiality, mutual understanding and reciprocity involved with every relationship. One of the most unnerving things is when a good worker is shunned by the others who are less than him, for they ridicule him and consider him disloyal by being kind and doing what is asked of him by the boss. This phenomenon, which is more a bestial animosity and mob mentality, promotes laziness and lack of productivity in any organization. At the same time, worker’s rights need to be healthily maintained and if a boss or house master is asking more than should be expected than the people are right to condemn him and those loyal to him. So this address is a fair warning to all, whatever side of the fence you are on: Be reasonable, don’t make assumptions and investigate before making an accusation.

Intention: Regardless of race, social standing or gender we all desire empathy and have wounds. Every human desires increase, love and prosperity. If we didn’t, that wouldn’t be reasonable. Yet, I want to dig deeper into that desire to discern that our own prosperity relies on the good willed nature of others. The world we are a part of organically contributes to our own growth. We should all consider the importance of doing things for the common good: and it should be recognized as a matter of honor more than that of material gain. The selfish corrupt and condemn our society while the generous enrich it. The charitable and noble plant seeds of community and collective love while the greedy and prideful burn and leave the tree barren. So I challenge you to see how you can contribute to the common good so as to leave it better than you found it. The most hindering conflict is a house divided, so how can we prevent that and find unity, even in the midst of extreme differences and tension? A return to empathy and love, first for ourselves and then towards our neighbor can renew those seeds of growth and bring forth abundant fruit.

“A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Abraham Lincoln

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