Words can be wasteful or misunderstood. Actions are often tiring and misdirected. But a well-timed, well-executed gesture can deliver an encyclopedia of words or a Rambo-feature-film of action. A Shrug, a flip-off, a sneer or some action designed to deflate the recipient’s ego. When faced with an angry, defiant character. turning away and presenting your back shows your utter disdain for the challenger.

Of course, you risk the possibility of a backstab. Taking the moral high ground can be an effective measure, prove to the assemblage that is gathered hoping to see someone’s ass get kicked that you are above such nonsense. Again you run the danger of being the ass that takes the beating. However, you can still emerge the moral victor despite getting bloodied. At least you’ve proved a point and that’s what really counts, right?

Moral victories are hard to celebrate: too ephemeral. I’ve touched on physical gestures and moral gestures. What does that leave us? The spiritual gesture. Forgiveness. Call on providence to make the gesture and you’re off the hook. It becomes someone else’s problem. A neat trick and perhaps the best of all. Nobody gets hurt. It requires a mutual understanding of the offence and the reaction that is normally expected and a belief that there is a spiritual referee watching over things.

Lesson #17 – Never Underestimate The Power Of A Gesture

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