I was involved in a conversation last night with Jesse & Jessica that brought up the first point. The second is spawned by a reflection on a quote that Deirdre related.
The truth needs no defense. This is a cliche, so it don't take it for more than a cliche is. It is a short version of an underlying truth that is a bit more complicated. This one does not mean that the truth will always "win out." What it means is that in my personal life, I can take criticism. I do not need to defend myself. If what I am doing is truly the right thing, then I can hold up to the criticism. If what I am doing is the wrong thing, then I shouldn't be trying to weasel out of responsibility and I should listen to the criticism and start doing something different. When someone accuses me of something, a huge sign (to me) that either I am in a bad space, or I have done something wrong, is that I am defending myself.
You can tell my spiritual condition by the amount of dirty dishes in my sink. I am a big believer in practical religion. If my belief in God is only to help me with the big things, like when I get cancer, or when I want to initiate world peace, then my belief in God is useless. My spiritual beliefs should enable me to work through the details of my life effectively. If not, what good are they? One has to be able to handle the little things as well as the big. If I cannot pay my bills, socialize, participate with my family, show up to work, and take care of life's basics, then I become a wreck. And I am a horrible example to other people of a human being. With the big things, I allow myself more leeway. My brother dieing for instance. I don't expect myself to be stoic. I have had to crawl under the covers in a fetal position a few times. I expect to grieve. I do not expect to just pick up an move on.
And somewhat related as well, doing the mundane chores of life, like the dishes, the vacuuming, the grocery shopping, etc., is a form of meditation for me. It gets me away from my problems and tribulations and focusing on how I can be an example. Of how I can be of at least minor service to other people. Rather than focusing on what life needs to give me.