It seems like all we see on the news today is fighting. Whether it’s political parties, countries, or personal fights, they are constantly surrounding us. Both physical and verbal weapons are being used to harm each other rather than lift each other up. However, Thomas Paine explained that “An army of principles can penetrate where an army of soldiers do not.” In this world where people’s first reaction to opposition is to harm those who cause it, the most light comes from those who instead teach and listen. So much knowledge can be spread as we share the principles we know to be true instead of attacking those who question us.
People misunderstand each other but instead of explaining, we try to injure on another. But Aristotle taught that “one exclusive sign thorough knowledge is the power of teaching.” We cannot prove to ourselves that we know about something until we can teach it, and what better opportunity to teach then when someone disagrees? And even better, what better opportunity to show someone you care about them? The simple act of listening rather than lashing out may be all someone needs. It creates a feeling of peace and kindness rather than contention and anger.
We must, as George Washington advised, “observe good faith and justice toward all [people]. Cultivate peace and harmony with all.” While it is true, the world isn’t perfect and not everyone is going to agree, but we must strive to be just instead of rash. Often, the pen is mightier than the sword and the kind words we use can make much more of an impact than we first anticipated.