And we have some choices. Instead of swallowing our voice, we can, for example, show up in a timely way, unflinchingly, in dialogue with the offender. (Of course, even if we do speak up, there’s no guarantee we can control the outcome of our bold encounter.)
If we didn’t show up in a timely way and handle it to our satisfaction, well, what we must do today, simply said, is get over it. We can transcend our determined behavior. We have the natural and philosophic capacity to reset our reflexive even-the-score punitive impulse. I believe this newly acquired behavior is the superior and more rewarding achievement of personhood.
As you know, the uniqueness of our discipline is to be found in the paradigm-shifting philosophic light it sheds on the structure and form of life we know as the self-ruling subjectivity constitutive of America’s citizenship.
We adopt the discipline and commitment to take enlightened possession of ourselves. Said another way, as autonomous individuals in command of ourselves, we don’t let the behavior of others determine our own.
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Arnold Siegel is the founder of Autonomy and Life and the leader of its Retreat Workshops and Advanced Classes.
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