In olden times, when an invading army was defeated and the war came to an end, the victorious defending soldiers would be paid whatever wages were due to them and sent home to tend to their families and fields. What if we did the same with our defensive emotions when our lives became more peaceful—honoring their service, while recognizing that it’s not in our best interest to keep them as a standing army? An imaginary mustering-out ceremony might go something like this:
Anger, step forward. Today we honor your valiant service. You charged courageously into battle, attacking wrongdoers and righting injustice. You kept your fellow soldiers motivated to go on fighting until victory was won. Here are your wages and a medal honoring your many brave deeds. May you find success in turning that impetuous energy toward a new career. How about the theater? It would suit your dramatics quite well.
Fear, thank you for your service as a vigilant scout, searching the countryside for dangers and quickly alerting the troops. Without your hard work, there surely would have been more mishaps and ambushes. Here is the money you’re owed—no doubt you’ll manage it just as carefully! Enjoy the pleasant, sunny days of peacetime on the farm, and try to relax if you can!
Bitterness, now it’s your turn. For many years, you honed your talents as a masterful propagandist. You made sure everyone knew the sordid details of the enemy’s evil schemes—and if they got exaggerated beyond recognition, well, that was all in a day’s work. Surely you’ll find great success in the advertising industry! Here are your wages, along with a commendation for having been so zealous.
Doubt, you were a fine quartermaster. Nobody got away with stealing the army’s supplies while you were on the job! You’ll certainly have many commercial firms eager to hire you. Here’s your bag of gold coins. Please try to wait until you step off the stage before you count them!
Judgment, your efforts are much valued. With diligent attention to detail, you kept us informed of all the ways we were better, smarter, and more capable than the enemy. You gave us certainty that we were always in the right—and that even if we weren’t, it was someone else’s fault. Word has it that you plan to start a new career in politics. Good luck to you, and here’s your well-earned pay!
As all of you receive your honorable discharge today, please know that your service to God and country is greatly appreciated—and as the times become more peaceful, may we find peace in our hearts as well.