I have a friend who was recently dealt with one of those unfair blows that we get in life. My friend is handling it well; however, even though the act was unfair, most people would still ask, “Did I fail?”
What you need to know is that this friend reminds me of a younger version of me. This person is crazy enough to view the world with a vision that sees through the masks of false conventions and questions behaviors, rules, and ideas that are silly, immoral, ignorant, or are just plain wrong. We are the type of person to tell the King that he’s wearing no clothes and then continue by telling him what he should be wearing. “Just because.” or “Because I say so!” are not good enough reasons for people like us, and that makes us a target to those who think that unquestioned obedience is a sign of strength.
PR Pro and fellow blogger, Jules Zunich, recently mentioned that she was a Purple Cow, which was a reference I didn’t get until she explained that author Seth Godin has written several books that promote the idea of being remarkable and indispensable; however, by standing out like a Purple Cow among the black and white cows, as Jules puts it “…certainly makes them a target for not fitting in.” Standing out doesn’t sit well with some people, especially with people who thrive on hierarchy.
My guess is that my friend has been questioning what could have been done differently because in any negative situation there is option of not participating, thus avoiding any conflict. Drawing on my own experiences I can imagine there is a mix of anger, frustration, and self-doubt, all emotions that wear us down and can be more destructive than motivating.
The difference between my friend and myself is that over the years I have tried to stay embedded in the journey of life. Focus on what I do today and know that conflict will occur. When conflict does occur I will fight the battles I need to and walk away from the battles that have no value to me. My attitude towards life involves a mythology where I hold the hope that at the end of life there is a Better Me.
I don’t believe in mythological deities, but I do subscribe to the idea that in the end of life (or time) everything I’ve done (both good and bad) will be apparent to all, and likewise I will know all that was said and done (both good and bad) by others. In this mythology I hope that the Better Me can help guide me through the conflicts of life, but it will be my choices that will determine how proud or ashamed I will be in the end.
It is a mythology that has given me comfort and motivation to try to do the right thing, while not getting too hung up on those who misuse their power or authority, because I believe their actions will only reflect on them, not me….or the Better Me.
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