My daddy used to tell me ALL THE TIME when I was growing up: “Soft over comes hard.” As I child, I usually rolled my eyes at him. It took me a long time to get what he was trying to teach me. This was my daddy’s way of saying, “Do unto others” and “turn the other cheek.” He also used to tell me, “don’t be a bull in a china closet.”
My daddy turned 70 two weeks ago. 15 years after a debilitating stroke, he continues to live on. Even with limited speech, when I look at my daddy, I hear his deep voice softly telling me, “Soft over comes hard.”
What does this mean? It’s taken me a long time to realize that when I get filled with righteous indignation, anger, frustration or meanness, it usually is a lot of wasted energy with no positive outcome. Does this mean that I never feel this way? On the contrary, I am fallible. I feel these emotions more frequently than I really want and I’ve wasted a lot of time and energy bemoaning injustice and firing up my anger over petty deeds and actions that ultimately I cannot change. The only person I can change is me and my response to a negative situation. As I have grown up, I hear more and more, the whisper of my daddy saying, “Anna, soft over comes hard.”
I think that when you look at Martine Luther King, Jr., Mother Theresa, Mahatma Ghandi, Anne Frank and others—these people that made massive change in very hard parts of the world, did so by using relentless softness to overcome the hard. Many hard hearts were softened through their selfless actions. “Soft over comes hard.” It may take a long time, but kindness and softness in responses to difficulties pay out far more in the long run than anger. If we pray for God to help us with our overwhelming anger and frustration, God will help bring that softness to the hard parts in your soul.
“Soft overcomes hard.”
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