Calling all opinions…

“Having leveled my palace, don’t erect a hovel and complacently admire your own charity in giving me that for a home.” –Emily Bronte

What are your thoughts on this quote? How do you think it applies to everyday life?

What if we switch it up a little (sorry Emily!) for a sec…

“Having leveled someone’s palace, don’t erect a hovel and complacently admire your own charity in giving it to that person for a home.”

or even this

“Having leveled your palace, do I erect a hovel and complacently admire my own charity in giving it to you for a home?”

I’ve got my own ideas and ponderings, but would like to hear yours, first. Thanks in advance for sharing! 🙂

And if the quote is NOT Emily Bronte (my sources might be wrong), please let me know!

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7 thoughts on “Calling all opinions…

  1. The pretentiousness man is capable of is amazing.

    In so many ways, we can be guilty of tearing someone down (i.e., with our words), then to soothe our guilty conscious, we do some type of minimal penance–and have the nerve to be satisfied with, even PROUD of ourselves for doing so. Without even acknowledging how we wronged the person in the first place.

    And we all are guilty of it in some form or fashion. We are a real trip, aren’t we?

    Tee

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  2. I’m headed in a different direction from Tee. I’m thinking mainly about the second part of that quote. And I’m thinking about finances.

    I recently read a book entitled /11 indispensable relationships you can’t be without/ by Leonard Sweet. It was a provacative read for me.

    One chapter is devoted to the premise that we all need someone who believes in the ministry and/or mission we are pursuing enough to back or assist us financially. (A Lydia) In that chapter he also addresses what he calls the poverty of the rich and the richness of the poor. (We all need at least one Lazarus in our lives.)

    He quotes Abraham Lincoln as saying: “You don’t make the poor rich by making the rich poor.” This Bronte quote certainly puts me in mind of those words.

    Sweet also addresses what he considers an all too common attitude of “the rich” (those who have enough) toward “the poor.”(those who suffer want)

    He says, “What the rich need, even more than digging deep into their pinstriped pockets is a relationship with the poor…the rich don’t “know” the poor or become friends with the poor. It is one thing to have a heart for the poor. It is another to use their bathroom…we treat the poor as anonymous recipients of charity rather than engage them as equals.”

    I am ashamed to say I often fall into that category.

    “The first followers of Jesus, when they gathered for worship, had to step past and sometimes over the poor who gathered outside entrances, begging for alms. The rich and the poor today are increasingly living geographically separate lives. Most people have not had twenty-five conversations with poor people in their whole lives. It is time to chip away the wall that separates the inseparable, the rich and the poor.”

    “The major meaning of human existence comes from blind acts of human kindness and bold acts of leaping beyond the limits of human nature. This does not mean that we are ever free from self-interest. But these blind and bold acts help us to experience, if only for a fleeting moment, what it means to be human, to be fully conscious human beings in a world of unconsciousness and a world without conscience.”

    In Bronte’s quote I see someone not fully conscious and tetering on the brink of being without conscience.

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  3. To me it means, don’t tear down someone’s dream and then throw them a few crumbs of hope at the end (to assuage your own conscience, perhaps).

    Or, don’t tear down their dream and substitute one of YOURS for them, because to them this may be the difference between a palace and a hovel.

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  4. Donna,

    Now that we are blog buddies, you must not judge my blogging by my personal blog. It’s just sad (how infrequently I say anything worthwhile there). Be sure to check out boundlessline.org ! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

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  5. Thanks everyone, for your comments. I think you all hit on much of what I thought when reading that quote. I can definitely see it on a physical level. But there is so much more to the statement than just the physical. It can be applied to the emotional and spiritual state of our relationships and every day interactions with other folks. Do we elevate ourselves and opinions to such a degree that we disregard the outcome of voicing everything we think to anyone and everyone who will listen? Our words have the ability to destroy…or build up. Which will we choose?

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  6. and Suzanne – no worries about not updating your blog everyday. You update far more than I do. I need to get on the blogging ball and keep it moving! 🙂

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