Who exactly is in charge here? Part 11 B (OR I need other to share in my sufferings, too.)

THOMAS JEFFERSON LEADERSHIP

[This is the 12th post in a series abstracted from Jefferson’s famous “My Head and My Heart” dialogue written to Maria Cosway. This is part of Heart’s final reply.]

Heart: But let us now try the virtues of your mathematical balance, & as you have put into one scale the burthen of friendship, let me put its comforts into the other. When languishing then under disease, how grateful is the solace of our friends! How are we penetrated with their assiduities [diligence] & attentions! How much are we supported by their encouragements & kind offices! When heaven has taken from us some object of our love, how sweet is it to have a bosom whereon to recline our heads, & into which we may pour the torrent of our tears! Grief, with such a comfort, is almost a luxury!

Source: To Maria Cosway, October 12, 1786
(Originally posted at http://ThomasJeffersonLeadership.com/blog/who-exactly-is-in-charge-here-part-11-b-or-i-need-other-to-share-in-my-sufferings-too  )

Patrick Lee’s Explanation

Honest leaders need support when they suffer.
Jefferson’s Head advised his Heart to weigh all things, even potential friendships, in a balance of positives vs. negatives and choose only the weightier. Heart found the potential comforts in friendship always of more value than feared hurts or loss.

In the last post, Heart extolled the virtue of the comfort he could give to others in their suffering. Here he reversed it, appreciating the comfort he received from others when he suffered.

Afflictions of disease or great personal loss were easier to bear when others came alongside to console and encourage. Suffering almost (almost!) became a luxury when one had dear friends to share in the burden.


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The Moral Liberal Thomas Jefferson Editor, Patrick Lee, is a professional speaker, actor and writer. Since 1990, he has inspired, entertained and educated audiences from Maine to Hawaii with his authentic, first person leadership presentations as President Thomas Jefferson, Frontiersman Daniel Boone, and Lewis & Clark Co-Leader William Clark. He also appears as himself, The Hopeful Humorist™, with a program of motivational humor, patriotism and inspiration.

His business address is ThomasJeffersonLeadership.com.