How to Respond – To Even the Most Disagreeable Persons

Disagreeable Persons Abound? Read this.


OurDailyBreadIn the book Our Daily Bread, there is a wonderful chapter (77), titled “To Respond”, which tells us how we should react to even the most vile character.

To Respond

Let your conversation always be gracious, seasoned with salt so that you may know how to answer everyone. – Paul (Col. 4:6)

The act of responding beneficially to heterogeneous minds require superior qualities that the individual should make an effort to acquire.

Points of view cannot be directed indiscriminately at fellow humans as they struggle with one another in evolutionary and redemptive tasks. It is necessary to address each one judiciously. One Jesus-greatLordshould not respond to someone working in the countryside by mentioning circumstances in the city. One should not use highly scientific remarks with someone complaining about the harshness of his or her individual path.

First of all, one must not be disagreeable to the listener; one should moderate…

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My Crystal Kid’s Infuriating Perspective

I was never a real thinker until I propagated and spawned a little guru-brain. She has an uncanny way of delivering punch-in-the-gut philosophy in the form of seemingly innocent questions.

There we were, driving through downtown Sarasota, when she pointed out a vast building under construction right by the Ritz Carlton and the turquoise waters of the bay. Its location is only relevant because it sets the setting: here is the stunning Sarasota skyline, the perfect blue sky pierced by the odd dive bombing pelican, the crystalline waters sliced by a couple of grey dolphin fins. And there, like foul and violent eruption of concrete termite hills, are the new skyscrapers in progress. 

Olivia asked me what they were building and why, and I explained that they’re developing luxury condos. Pouring millions and millions and millions of dollars and hours and hours and weeks and weeks of labor into pushing up these titanic ogres in the hopes that someone will pay $3.5 million for a 3 bedroom apartment.

“How do they know someone will buy one?” she asked.

“They don’t,” I said. “They have to trust.”

“Otherwise they’d never build anything…” she whispered, staring out of the window as we drove past, the thousands of gallons of newly solidified concrete reflected in her eyes.

Here we go again. Olivia makes some profound comment. Because yes, we do have to sacrifice some effort before we can expect our just rewards. The Law of Attraction is set in motion by action, a momentum that we ignite by intent, expectation and the first efforts to sow the seeds. There they are, the builders with their pants sagging down over their arse crack, their roll up ciggies hanging from their lips and their endless streams of sweat, contributing applied action to what is currently just a vision. Laying down the foundation, building the skeleton, pouring cement like it’s lifeblood.

“It is pretty ugly though,” I mumbled.

“It won’t always be, will it Momma?” said the little voice.

I almost puked right there in the car with the sudden realization that my life has so much in common with that massive steel turd. Time and time again I get a great idea, visualize its completion, set in motion right action towards it, and then stare at the circumstances in bafflement at how unfinished and ugly it looks. How can I have manifested this hideous concrete monstrosity, I wonder, when it was stunning architecture I had in mind? 

It’s infuriating, because I actually enjoy dwelling in self-pity sometimes. And it takes my kid sometimes to remind me that this is what it looks like while it’s happening. Life may look like the opposite of what I designed right now, because the perspective I’m using in my scrutiny of it doesn’t include the potential. Which, as we all know, is unlimited. Offensive as the construction may be, every steel beam, piece of scaffolding, clunking clang and gallon of cement is in its perfect place so that the carefully and lovingly imagined architecture can emerge in its right time. And there, months from now, will stand a new sculpture on Sarasota’s turquoise bay, and it’ll represent a growth in economy in the multimillions. A worthy ideal for some, certainly. I must remember that next time I get into a spiral of self-criticism. This is what it looks like while it’s happening.

And so it is. 

Elizabeth is a mom, author, minister of metaphysics, and reluctant bureaucrat. Her comic fantasy novel “Ascension Denied” is set in purgatory but is nonetheless available to the living, now, online, at all major retailers. Stay in touch through:

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I want my daughters to be like Disney Princesses

Before I had kids I was pretty enthusiastic (to the point of being belligerent) about never giving in to their demands for up-to-trend Disney toys, especially princesses. Princesses, I decided, were a symbol of centuries of men turning girls into stupid, weak and completely dependent little porcelain pets. Little girls, no older than 16 in most cases, ushered promptly into the arms of powerful, marginally pedophile royalty. Not that for my daughters! No! My children should only play with good, solid, wooden, organic, gender-neutral, educational toys.

Then my first daughter Olivia turned 2 and spotted her very first Princess in the window of a toy shop. It was Belle, with her chocolate hair and golden dress, holding a blood red rose there she stood inside that pretty box with the see-through panel. Olivia tossed her wooden block and had to have her.

The other thing I wasn’t prepared for before having Olivia was that the joy of fulfilling her fantastical desires far outweigh my values (read: prejudices). I want her to know that she has the power to manifest the aspects, tangible or not, that she desires in her life. Right now she desires Princesses.

To my huge surprise, I bought her the Belle doll. And since then she’s been hooked. She has all the Princesses now, and all the villains too. But it’s not the pretty dresses and the tiaras she loves. It’s the stories! Adventures, journeys, conflict and trouble. Witches’ spells and brave quests to rescue the victim (and yes, sometimes the victim is a stupid and weak girl, but sometimes it’s the butcher, the witch’s pet stingray, or a banana).

Snow White Dead


Above is my Olivia in the depths of one of her Princess stories. Snow White had recently perished after falling in a pool of slime. Her funeral was attended by Van Helsing, Sophia The First, Maleficent, Anna and a Barbie priest. 


Upon closer examination, I discovered how foolish and egotistical I had been in my judgment of the Disney Princesses. If my girls grow up to share some of the qualities of Belle, Cinderella, Ariel and the gang, then I will class myself a hugely successful mother. Here’s why:



Belle rejected societal pressures to marry the man most likely to fulfill the arbitrarily chosen measures of success. Instead she emphasized her own intellectual pursuits, until she fell in love with a man who was marginalized and rejected by society because of his deformity of body and mind. She showed great integrity and strength in standing up for him when under pressures from popular opinion, an act and attitude which ultimately transformed him and uplifted both her and the community they lived in.



She saved China from the oppression of the Mongols to uphold her father’s honor. Enough said.



Despite years of neglect, Cinderella maintained her belief in the innate good in people. She displayed compassion, patience and kindness throughout her lifetime of abuse, which kept her in the vibration of divine grace. By the Law of Attraction, this eventually manifested the love of her life. It is incredibly hard to believe yourself lovable when you have been shown time and time again that you’re worthless, so to have been able to keep her connection with her higher self and nurture self-love until she attracted someone to reflect that is an extremely admirable quality.



This young princess believed so strongly in her right to determine her own fate that she went against the will of her parents and publicly rejected the tradition of arranged marriage. She showed incredible courage, not only in standing up for her own divine right to freedom, but in her actions to rectify the damage caused to her relationship with her mother as a result of her rebellion.



As a black woman in New Orleans in the 1920s, Tiana adopted the “work hard for your money” mentality. Although it’s always admirable when a woman sees herself as the source of a bright future instead of seeking good luck, better breaks, wealthy husband type cheats, it’s even more admirable in my eyes when she is open to the lesson that good fun and joy comes first. It is tempting to say a woman should work work work for her career, but unless she is spiritually fulfilled she’s nothing more than a factory cog.



The young Powhatan Indian in the early 1600’s demonstrated that love transcends cultural boundaries. Her understanding of Spirit and the collective consciousness is so beautiful I still burst into tears whenever I hear “Colors of the Wind”.

Snow White


Nurturing, gentle and motherly characteristics are rarely championed in women these days, I think. Yet there is little that is so close to a woman’s true nature as the divine Mary aspect of her soul. Snow White portrayed such a soft strength with her sweet kindness and compassion, and still she had that unparalleled maternal quality of being stern in her soft-spokenness.



I’ve always encouraged curiosity and adventure, and my daughters know to look for their own Truth beyond the walls of our home (and by “home” I also mean the doctrines and values that are important to their father and I). Jasmine shows the confidence and open-mindedness to look for meaning in cultural settings “beneath” her station.



Aurora is perhaps the most passive of the Disney Princesses, but I am reminded by her that there is a space in this world and a time in our life for just being feminine and graceful.



She’s a stinker – she represents to me the rebellious teenage coming-of-age defiance that is imperative to all young girls at one stage or another. She openly defies her father over some petty thing and displays absolutely terrible decision-making. I’ve been there. Learned a lot. Wouldn’t change it for the world.



Maybe my favorite Princess, Rapunzel is whip smart, brave and yet there’s an aire of imperfection, like she has a lot of growing to do. She’s almost clumsy in her emotional control and she floats between being firm in her ambition, to wavering in insecurity, then finding her conviction again. She has no idea who she really is but is called by a knowing deep inside that she is more than what she knows – she is greater than the tower that has contained her and the woman her mother has raised her to be. Pow. Punches me right in the mother organ.

So I changed my mind about the Disney Princesses when I saw how my Olivia interacted with them. I saw that my judgment of them was as shallow as anyone’s judgment may be of my daughters, for the facets of each other that we experience are to us what we perceive them to be. I choose to show my daughters the uplifting characteristics in every person, real or fictional, that has an impression on them.

Elizabeth is a mom, author, minister of metaphysics, and reluctant bureaucrat. Her comic fantasy novel “Ascension Denied” is set in purgatory but is nonetheless available to the living, now, online, at all major retailers. Stay in touch through: