On Being Human

This week I was tempted, strongly so, to do something I’ve often complained others do far too easily. Yes folks I, who believes in abundance and shares everything she has because she believes there will always be enough for all of us, almost closed ranks, came into myself to protect my turf.  I can’t believe I just wrote the words, ‘my turf’. For those of you reading this blog who know me, you see what state I must have been in this week. Yes, I was more peculiar than ever.

Not sure what happened that set me off on this wrong-headed course except there was an innocent threat made by someone I consider a friend. The threat I perceived nestled and burrowed until what was likely a thoughtless comment perhaps said in jest turned, in my mind, into an act of war.

The slight or threat (depending on your point of view) went along the lines you might hear in a schoolyard: if you don’t want to play my way, I’ll go find someone else who will.  Hurt, sure I was hurt, for a lot of reasons I won’t go into here. My ego then kicked in and I found myself thinking of ways to exclude the person. At first these were only scattered thoughts, the kind of thing you imagine you might have said or did after the fact to someone who bullied you. Then an opportunity came to actually take a stand, actually do something to change the course of our relationship. I stopped and had to think about what to do. That so rarely happens to me: both the thinking part (I’m a doer, and hell be damned) and the excluding part.

I had to convince myself to do the right thing. I had to talk myself into what ‘right’ even meant. It took a lot of talking to myself. Inclusion is something that has always been so important to me. I think if you’re authentic, share of yourself (good and bad) why would anyone hurt you. Still I’m not totally naïve. I know there are those who will use the information you share against you, or they might use it to better themselves at your expense.  

In the end, I decided that my actions had to come from my own set of values rather than a response to a perceived threat. I can’t control the behaviour of others. And as you now know, I can barely control my own. In the end I did the right thing for me, I included the person and I saw the slight for what it was, a thoughtless blip in a long relationship, nothing more. And I could finally let it go.

My experience is just a microcosm of what happens every day on the world stage and the impact not talking/communicating might have on all of us. Just this week, there were several examples:

1. There was talk about countries protecting their currency through a currency war.

2. The U.S.’s fist-pumping response to North Korea’s nuclear testing.

3. President Putin ordering fighter jets in the air after the meteor strike hit Russia, ‘just in case’.

4. The circus that is Washington’s inability to move forward on key policy changes because of the ongoing battle between congress and the President.

You’ll argue that these examples are not the same as my experience with my friend. You may even think that leaders have to take a stand. I don’t disagree. But I also wonder if some of our problems (international and personal) could be solved by talking to each other, rather than reverting to the schoolyard mentality of scarcity: if you won’t play with me, I’ll find someone else who will.  You just wait and see. You’ll be sorry.

I’ve won this particular battle with myself, but the war rages on. I tell myself to remain vigilant, but I understand I’m all too human, which I guess is a good thing.


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