It is the mark of an educated mind to entertain an opposing thought and not accept it.

It is the mark of a self-control to not panic when it seems like everything around you is falling apart.

It is the mark of maturity to recognize when an opponent is right despite how much you disagree and dislike him.

In all cases, the sign of being human is to acknowledge your emotions but to not act on them. Rather, taking a slow, measured, and thoughtful response is the best way to handle most situations. There are situations that call for immediate action. A firefight, for example, requires immediate and decisive action. Your enemy is not going to give you time to think and respond before shooting you.

Those situations in life are rare. A competitor may have launched a vicious smear campaign against you. You may think the best action jump in, defend yourself, and then counter. You’d be fighting blind. You need to first take a few moments, understand what is being said, and whether you can ignore it, or whether you need to start legal action.

Your child’s temper tantrum is another example. No doubt, listening to a child whine and cry is aggravating. Responding with anger only makes the situation work. The most effective way is to make sure your child is safe, and then walk away.

This should be our default mode of response to the world. To take stock of what is happening and respond in a measured fashion. Jumping right into the action at a moment’s notice leaves us tired and unable to enjoy ourselves.

Slow down and respond as needed.

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