“The high road” is a very misused and misunderstood declaration by many during and after conflicts. Unfortunately, many do not seem to fully understand the real meaning of it. The very act of claiming to take the high road is not the high road!
Broadcasting what is supposed to be a very selfless act is really just a desire to appear better than someone else. The mere act of broadcasting it completely invalidates it. An insatiable need to tell everyone that you took the high road in a situation is a premeditated mission to make the other person look bad. You are expecting to receive admiration and praise from others for your “good deed” and are even hoping that others will side with you and turn against the other party because you are so admirable. And certainly, posting that you took the high road on Facebook or any other social media outlet is the exact opposite of the high road. To anyone with a genuine heart and a standard of true ethics, this declaration made by you is completely transparent and portrays who you really are and what you are really trying to accomplish.
To those who feed into your desperate need for attention and admiration at your attempt to boast about your integrity, they are just as ignorant in their response. Comments are sure to consist of and insinuate negativity about the other party all while inflating your ego as they elaborate about how wonderful of a person you are doing exactly what you had hoped. Sadly, they also do not understand the true meaning of the high road or integrity for that matter.
Taking the high road is an unspoken, humble, and selfless stance in a conflict. It does not come from anger or sass. It has no pride. It is not an avenue of control or belittling someone else. It is not for the admiration or praise of others. It has no malice behind it. It doesn’t seek to hurt anyone or to make ourselves appear better than anyone else. It has nothing to do with anyone but you and your true integrity. It means you don’t contribute to a conflict and morally choose to do what is right. You remain peaceful and surrender so as not to escalate a conflict further and make every attempt at peace, reconciliation and compromise. It is not done out of superiority. It is a genuine act of remaining hopeful that the conflict will be resolved at some point and you sincerely want the best for everyone involved. It means you are willing to work toward resolution and peace. There is no anger, hate or vengeance involved and there is absolutely no smearing of or attempts to make the other person appear like the villain and you the saint. When you truly have taken the high road, no words are necessary for others to see your true character. “You will know them by their fruits.” Matthew 7:16-19
In summation, the high road is a selfless act of choosing the morally correct response in the name of peace and reconciliation without having to advertise to anyone how wonderful you are. You quietly surrender and allow your life be a reflection of who you are and the ethics in which you live by. You pray for peace in the conflict and are willing and ready to resolve it understanding that you may either have to take accountability for your actions and apologize or extend grace and forgiveness. That my friends is the high road!
If more people truly took the high road, imagine the conflicts that could be resolved, the feelings that could be spared, and the peace that would result.
16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore, by their fruits, you will know them.
Have you misunderstood or misused what the true meaning of the high road really is? Have you intentionally declared taking the high road only for the admiration and praise of others all while attempting to belittle someone in the process? Has this perspective helped you so that you can better respond to future conflicts, truly take the high road and work toward peace?
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