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During World War II, Douglas MacArthur mapped a strategy called “island hopping” to win the war in the Pacific theatre. To achieve the ultimate objective of defeating Japan, MacArthur decided to only attack islands that would benefit the ultimate objective of victory. But the real advantage of skipping an attack on some islands was that they were heavily fortified. Instead of attacking Japanese strongholds MacArthur bypassed them, saving lives on both sides. Sometimes the best strategy for dealing with those ready to fight might be not to fight at all.
A person might be wise by the battles he doesn’t fight. Maybe you have been in situations like I have where the person with whom I have a disagreement is very good with words. The wisest way for me to respond to that individual is not with more words. Piling my words on top of their words will just continue the fight. Perhaps the better way to counter the conflict would be to do something nice. Proverbs 25 says that kindness heaps “burning coals” on my adversary, meaning, he is ashamed that his attacks have been countered with unexpected goodness.
Or maybe you have been in a situation, like me, where a foolish person has done something that has hurt you. Proverbs 29 says that a wise person knows it is pointless to argue with a fool. The fool’s only response to my words is rage and ridicule. Proverbs 23 says I should not even speak wisdom within earshot of a fool, who will only despise the “good sense” of my words.
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
It is Veteran’s Day and, as usual, we’re going about our daily lives. We spare a thought for those who died and those who served. I have a particular fondness for a certain veteran, but I think about all of them. I think of the ways they have sacrificed for our country as well as other countries and I feel a sense of borrowed pride.
I have no claim to the pride myself; I never chose to enter the service. My life would be vastly different if I had. I suspect that I would have had much more opportunity, been promoted more quickly, learned new and exciting things that are not regularly taught in nursing school, and at least have my school loans paid off. I might even have a house of my own with one of those fancy VA loans.