Keep the moral high ground

2015-04-30 16:15

KEEP the moral high ground, the saying goes. It is not easy. When people criticise you unfairly or treat you badly, you are told to hold your head high and keep the moral high ground. This means you must behave honestly, decently, kindly, forgiving and accommodating.

No matter how rough it is, you must never take revenge, act badly, be very angry, hurt anyone, act irrationally or rashly, or be aggressive. No matter what the provocation. No matter what challenges are thrown at you, no matter how unfairly others behave – you will not retaliate in kind. You will carry on being good and civilised and morally irreproachable.

Your manners will be impeccable and your language moderate and dignified.

I am one who is always being picked on, or it sometimes seems like that.

There are a lot of people who have not seen me for a long time. When you meet these people at a funeral, for example, they will say something negative and hurtful. It hurts and I always wish that I had an answer, but they always find me flat-footed.

Maybe it is not my nature to hurt other people and I have to act outside my nature to be nasty.

To tell the truth I also want to hurt them back. I will mull it in my head what I will say if I see them next time or if I meet another mean person, but I am always caught off-guard.

When somebody was spreading lies and accusing me unfairly, one friend of mine kept on saying “keep the moral high ground”.

It was not easy. I became aggressive and wanted to inflict physical harm. Anger makes one rash. It makes one to react.

The good advice I got was that don’t react, but respond. When people are nasty to you it’s natural to want to get your own back and lash out.

Sometimes it seems that these people are negative by nature and they leave their home with the intention of hurting the very next person they meet. They never have anything positive to say. They are poised and ready to sting and be disagreeable. Try to avoid these people. They are not worth your friendship.

Learn how to control your anger or anxious reaction when in their company. Try to remain calm and tell yourself that you will not satisfy them by demeaning yourself.

Instead of saying something positive, they pull you down.

Once the rough times have passed you will be proud of yourself for keeping the moral high ground. It will taste a thousand times better than revenge ever can.

Keeping the moral high ground means that you are much higher than them.

You don’t have to go down to their level. Going down to their level demeans you and cheapens you. Revenge is for losers.

It doesn’t mean you are a pushover or a wimp. It just means that any action you do take will be honest and dignified.

) To contribute to this column, send your piece of around 500 words to

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Hip Cape Town bars to discover this summer
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.