I can also be guilty of acquiescing too easily ... sometimes just giving up and going back inside my box is a very attractive alternative, but it doesn't advance anyone or anything. It's hard, once we get inside our own little boxes, to come out of them. Very hard. If it's to be, though, it is up to me -- that needs to be our personal mantras in regards to building relationships, not walls.
This all goes back to the book Leadership and Self-Deception which I read a few weeks ago. Any thoughts, anyone?
“ ‘The saints,’ said [French author George] Bernanos [most famous for his Diary of A Country Priest], ‘are not resigned, at least in the sense that the world thinks. If they suffer in silence those injustices which upset the mediocre, it is in order better to turn against injustice, against its face of brass, all the strength of their great souls. Angers, daughters of despair, creep and twist like worms. Prayer is, all things considered, the only form of revolt that stays standing up.’
This is very true from all points of view. A spirituality that preaches resignation under official brutalities, servile acquiescence in frustration and sterility, and total submission to organized injustice is one which has lost interest in holiness and remains concerned only with a spurious notion of ‘order.’ On the other hand, it is so easy to waste oneself in the futilities of that ‘anger, the daughter of despair,’ the vain recrimination that takes a perverse joy in blaming everyone else for our failure. We may certainly fail to accomplish what we believed was God's will for us and for the Church: but simply to take revenge by resentment against those who blocked the way is not to turn the strength of one's soul (if any) against the ‘brass face of injustice.’ It is another way of yielding to it.
There may be a touch of stoicism in Bernanos' wording here, but that does not matter. A little more stoic strength would not hurt us, and would not necessarily get in the way of grace! “
Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander by Thomas Merton,
New York: Doubleday & Co, Inc., 1968 edition, p. 165