Plato is generally credited with having said, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Although,as Alice Walker puts it, our ongoing battle for freedom is a personal and lonely one, it is in acknowledging that everyone we encounter is facing down their fears that we are able to respond, firstly, with kindness – the greatest wisdom – and, secondly, with the encouragement that a battle is only lost when you believe it to be (Jean-Paul Sartre).
Epictetus said, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” In my mind I always continue his train of thought and say: We have two eyes so that we can see twice as much as we speak. “There is a road from the eye to heart that does not go through the intellect” (GK Chesterton) and in opening our eyes to the people around us we inevitalby open our hearts.
For I dipped into the future, far as human eye could see, Saw the vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be – Lord Alfred Tennyson
The eye sees a thing more clearly in dreams than the imagination awake.- Leonardo da Vinci