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Edward Phillips

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The Right Side of History
by Edward Phillips

Sunday, March 29, 2015
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent poems by Edward Phillips
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The Right Side of History

Some scoff at the phrase. “Who knows the course of history?” they ask. “Anyone who thinks it’s predetermined is a fool.” They miss the point. History is not about any particular course of events, or even about any destination. It’s about our beliefs, our attitudes, and our actions. Collectively, when we resolve to do the right thing, we tend to do it. When our choices are driven by honesty, caring, trust, honor, and love we have confidence in the outcomes, and we can live with the results. When they are motivated by greed, selfishness, or hate the outcomes dishonor us all. History unfolds according to how well we stayed on the first path and avoided the second. When we listen to the voices of our “better angels,” we are on the path to the right side of history. It’s as simple and as complex as that.

Theologians may disagree with my assessment of motivations and of virtues. That is their problem. I am certain that tyrants disagree. And I will always be a problem for them. In my waning years my recourse is to stand with those on the side of history that I trust. It is not to unsheathe the sword and fight the good fight, but to let the pen bear the brunt of this ongoing battle. I can deal with the rancor of critics.

There is a time and a place
For you and for me
It is now, this moment.
It asks each of us only this—
To find our calling
To use our talents
And to follow our star
To our destiny.
The choice of how is ours to make
To be true to ourselves
To do least harm
To honor each other
With fairness
With kindness
And with love.
If we can do that
History will do the rest.


  

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Reviewed by Mor Inchrory 3/29/2015
Hi Edward,
When I was doing a family history going back a thousand years, I was soon to discover that history consists of ninety per cent imagination and less than ten per cent fact.
Otherwise, it makes for very dull reading.
Reviewed by J. Roseline 3/29/2015
How beautiful your thoughts JK roseline
Reviewed by Jansen Estrup 3/29/2015
Fairness, kindness, love ... a fine legacy at any time ... can any sword match such a pen?
Reviewed by Regis Auffray 3/29/2015
It is not to unsheathe the sword and fight the good fight, but to let the pen bear the brunt of this ongoing battle. I can deal with the rancor of critics.

Points very well made, Edward. Thank you. Love and peace to you,

Regis
Reviewed by Danae Wilkin 3/29/2015
Your poem after the diatribe is almost exactly my world view. In particular, "to do the least harm." My phrase is the positive to that version: "to make the world a better place than when I arrived".

And it's very true that the "right side" of history is based on beliefs and attitudes, not factual events. It's often just greed and other selfishness vs. love and honesty.

Liked the comparison of tyrants and theologians. Hahaha! Because I used to be the latter of course.

Keep on fighting the good fight with your pen.

Best, Danae
Reviewed by Jane Noponen Perinacci 3/29/2015
This write calms the soul. Beautiful and wise words.

Love ya!

Jane
Reviewed by Michael Schafer 3/29/2015
A very thought provoking write. I am not a religious person in any sense of the word. I do however consider myself to be a spiritual person. But history is always written by the victors.

Michael D.
Reviewed by Ed Matlack 3/29/2015
Well, Ed, tis a good write, well put, well thought out but as I don't actually get it, I will have to think about it as it makes points to think about and points that do not require thought as I may or may not like them...-e-

( I hope I didn't anger you with my comment,but that is what I felt when writing it after reading your post...)
Reviewed by Jerry Bolton 3/29/2015
Ahhh . . . Very inventive thought process to come up with this, Edward. Makes you stop and really think. I am not religious, but I can put myself in a religious frame of mind if I want. Yeah, it would all depend on what kind of religion you were raised in. Many Southern Baptists would have a real problem with this, as well as devout Catholics, even though the new pope has come out with different standards.



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