“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
~Matthew 5:9 (NRSV).
We all want the final move, but not all of us can win all the time. I was reminded of this after watching Angela’s Ashes (1999) when Frank joins the Postal Corps. Told to “shut up,” he proceeds to politely have the final word. After four or five humorous iterations the female clerk gives up in despair. Clearly, only one party can have the final word.
And yet, our fights must end with us; not issuing the final word or act, but in us allowing the other person this glorious decency.
This is at once an easy and mighty chivalry.
It’s not that important to have the next/last move. We show ourselves to be scared little creatures—not children of God—when we insist upon such things.
Think for a moment, when we give way to the other person and relinquish the thing we might want to say—and they’ll somehow know it—what this will go toward achieving.
We’ll be earning ourselves a true friend, that’s what.
And even if the other person struggles to trust us via this initial cavalcade of camaraderie, we’ll have caused the setting-up for them, a ricochet for their memory, come future altercations.
Nothing adds to our credibility more than this sort of uncommon grace.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.