Principles of the heart:

It's sometimes said that there are basically two ways of living - through courage or fear.   In a complex world, any simplification like this has to be treated carefully, but I believe there's a lot of truth behind this idea.  Fear has it's rightful place, of course, but not as a philosophy of life.  Anger, too, can be a spur to positive action, although it's often the reverse. 

Humans often have very different personalities, and it's important to recognise that others have different ways of doing things which can be just as productive (or better in some circumstances) than our own ways.  Different personalities can complement or conflict - often it's a matter of the attitude and intention of the individuals.

Personalities traits always have shadow sides.  Perserverance has the shadow of stubbornness, for example.  We need to recognise and acknowledge these in ourselves and others.  

Admirable qualities can be blocked.  I've heard it said that love and care can be blocked, finding expression as envy and jealousy instead.  Mastery (the ability to nurture the growth of others) can be blocked into control...

It has taken me many years to realise some simple truths...



Stephanie Dowrick (1997) Forgiveness and other acts of love.  Viking; London.

Anyone with other references - please contact me!