Taking the Higher Road


The other day, my 23-year-old daughter was showing me an electronic interaction between herself and someone she loves. This said loved one went on to verbally abuse my daughter and bash her character to the extreme. My daughter’s reply was one of concern for the other person’s well-being expressed in love and offering up her support if ever needed. That being said, my daughter also expressed that she would no longer be in contact with this person until she could engage in a respectful manner. She closed the conversation in love and well wishes.

I was pleased with how she handled the circumstances and told her that she had taken the higher road. I immediately found myself explaining what I mean when I refer to “the higher road”.

Many people think that taking the higher road is a form of placing yourself above the other individual involved in the conflict. Not I. When I choose to take the higher road, I am taking a road that is higher than one of which I have taken before. In my daughter’s case, she is behaving as an adult would behave. No longer a child. So she has risen above childish ways. We have all acted out as children while we were young…and sometimes while we were adults (I am the first to raise my hand here!)

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” – 1 Corinthians 13:11

Not a coincidence that this passage is taken from “The Love Chapter”.  This is a reading in its fullest, I will never grow tired of. See there is no fear in perfect love. This means there is no ego involved either. I know that when it is painful to take the higher road, my ego is usually involved. Where there is ego, fear is usually keeping company alongside and this is what causes pain. So when we drop our ego and our fear, we allow that perfect love to flow.


(The Road is Long) He Ain’t Heavy

My daughter’s reply with an offering of support reminded me of this lovely ballad.  I have seven uncles, three of which served in Vietnam. The words are very much their love song to each other.

“The road is long , with many a winding turn

That leads us to who knows where. Who knows where?

But I’m strong; Strong enough to carry him

He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

So on we go; His welfare is of my concern

No burden is he to bear; We’ll get there

For I know He would not encumber me

If I’m laden at all; I’m laden with sadness

That everyone’s heart; Isn’t filled with the gladness

Of love for one another”

There is quite the parable behind the origins of the phrase “He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother” :

“Do you know that incident in connection with the little Scottish girl? She was trudging along, carrying as best she could a boy younger, but it seemed almost as big as she herself, when one remarked to her how heavy he must be for her to carry, when instantly came the reply: “He’s na heavy. He’s mi brother.”

Simple is the incident; but there is in it a truth so fundamental that pondering upon it, it is enough to make many a man, to whom dogma or creed make no appeal, a Christian and a mighty engine for good in the world. And more there is in it a truth so fundamental and so fraught with potency and with power, that its wider recognition and projection into all human relations would reconstruct a world” [1]

The parable was referenced in a 1918 writing but the story is believed to be much older. You see, when my daughter offered up her compassion and support, she was stating that she was strong enough to bear the weight of her brother/sister’s burden – with set boundaries of course. We can love each other, we can bear each other’s weight. Just keep in mind that this is only when others want our support. For it is impossible to help someone who does not desire help. In that case, it is best to send them off with a blessing as my daughter did.

With all this said, yeah I might be bragging a bit about my daughter. Wouldn’t you? More so, I have learned a good lesson from her. A lesson I wish to share with you all. I hope it blesses you as much as it has blessed me.

Stay Blissful My Friends – E

  1. Trine, Ralph Waldo (1918). The Higher Powers of Mind and Spirit. Project Gutenberg.

If you liked this,  check out: Let Go, Keep Going, or Start Over

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