[Temple, Outer Court]George Herbert: "The Church-porch"

Day 28: Morning



Mark what another sayes: for many are

Full of themselves, and answer their own notion.

Take all into thee; then with equall care

Ballance each dramme of reason, like a potion.

   If truth be with thy friend, be with them both:

   Share in the conquest, and confesse a troth.

          Notice what another says, for many are involved in themselves and answer their own ideas. Take everything that is said into yourself [without judgment]. Then with care [that is] equal to your listening, balance each drop of reason like a medicine, [carefully]. If the truth is with your friend, be with them both. Share in the conquest, and confess your agreement.

          If you give them time, people will answer their own questions. They may even solve their own problems. They speak about their anxiety with most of the related information and concerns. They see them as separate problems, or they may relate them in a way that is important to them. As they present them, see them from a fresh, objective view, and you may be able to see the situation more clearly as an outsider than the people involved. They have most, if not all, of the information that is necessary for a solution. With a little encouragement and a few careful questions, they lay out the resolution for you to show them. They may even believe that they solved it themselves. "Balance each dram of reason." Try not to make decisions for them; they will have to live with the results. If you respect them, teach them to make their own decisions. If you love them, let them be responsible for their own choices.

          In evaluation weigh the reasons carefully. If the result is true, the facts correct and the relation and consequence established, consider it a victory for both of you. Ratify the agreement as a mutual conquest.

© 1997 J. R. Arner

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