There is a woman columnist who writes regularly in the local newspaper. She is Catholic and writes on a variety of subjects. Sometimes I agree with her. Sometimes I don’t. Then there are times, like recently, when what she writes resonates with insight into the human condition.
The recent column I particularly liked was titled, “The Philosophy of Yielding.” There is much concern in contemporary American culture for efficiency in the use of time. There is also a relinquishing of trust toward computers rather than people. This seems to be resulting in a decrease of interpersonal communications. What has become most trustworthy is self and computer. Thus we tend to “yield” only to these. The phenomenon of “in-your-face” arguments is becoming more and more commonplace because we have come to expect deception (or just enough information to cover their behinds) from people rather than truth. However, in the above mentioned writer’s column she advocates the opposite of current trends toward confrontation. She promulgates an attitude of “giving in,” of yielding, of losing – maybe even of being taken advantage of.
I know in my own life there is in me a compulsion to be “right” and to correct those whom I think are not right. It’s difficult and it takes a lot of practice but I think I’m coming to see the benefits of yielding to what another may say while my instincts are bursting to correct him/her. There’s a lot in our daily lives toward which a philosophy of yielding can bend us. Yielding without road rage to other drivers who are wrong or who break traffic laws that compromise our own safety, yielding to habitual demands upon our time from others, yielding to the importunities of Your spirit which can so easily be ignored – and so on.
One might ask what’s so good about all this yielding. The answer is that it diminishes bit by bit the “me first” attitude so prevalent in our society and this, in turn, diminishes the “self” which is a good thing because it makes more room for the ability to recognize Your spirit.