I recently re-read ‘A Little Princess’ by Frances Hodgson Burnett, I am now itching to re-watch the 90s film version!
I had forgotten how much this children’s book has to say on the importance of character. These words on keeping your temper really struck me:
When you will not fly into a passion people know you are stronger than they are, because you are strong enough to hold in your rage, and they are not, and they say stupid things they wish they hadn’t said afterward. There’s nothing so strong as rage, except what makes you hold it in–that’s stronger. It’s a good thing not to answer your enemies.
In a culture where we can say ‘I’m just being real’ to excuse any angry outburst it is a good reminder that it also takes great strength to keep your composure and not lash out at people who attack you…however much they deserve it.
This doesn’t mean that you should never speak out or accept all the wrongs in the world without doing something about it, but it means that you don’t let your anger take over you.
Sometimes refusing to answer to vicious verbal swipes is the most unnerving response to those who are trying to hurt you, especially when you master the ‘I see through your bluster and am unimpressed’ stare, because it lets their words hang in the air. It gives the speaker an opportunity to hear their own cruelty and reconsider. But if you fly in and fill the space with your own angry response you deprive them of the chance to realize that cruelty is never justified.
There is great strength in those who can master their anger so that they can choose when to speak up and when to stay quiet, and let the silence speak volumes.
Crowns fit much better on those who are level-headed!