Thursday, November 6, 2008

Gingerly Casting My Medal Aside In The Most Polite Way, So As Not To Cause A Ruckus

I suppose there are always “consequences” for our actions. I mean the wrestler who threw his Olympic bronze medal on the mat and walked away in disgust is now banned from participating in the sport for two years. That's a consequence. Most of us nod our heads and say, “Yes. He deserves that consequence for unsportsmanlike behavior, by God!” Maybe that is the correct reaction. But probably to the wrestler, it was worth making the statement – to fight what he judged as being an injustice - even though he has to endure the consequence.

My former boss, Mr. Adams (and I think I can now say his name since he has retired) always used to ask me a question when I felt like there was an injustice being “committed” in my vicinity. He used to say to me, “Ginger, is this the hill you want to die on?” I assume he said “hill” because, let’s face it, around these parts there are no mountains. The point, though, was clear. He wanted to know if it was worth risking my opinion, my reputation, my job in some cases, to fight for what I think is right. In most cases it was not worth engaging in battle; the injustice wasn't egregious enough to fight against.

I have to admit that I am a passionate, reactionary person and have for several years worked at trying to be more measured – to take a step back before I react, to breathe through emotions, and even “sleep on it” before I respond. In most cases this is a good thing. I suppose that this is some form of maturity training or pearl of wisdom that I seek. I fancy this quality - patience, we might call it or an attempt at understanding - a good one to possess.

But what happens when we decide that whatever we are facing is the battle we want to fight? What happens when we decide that this hill is THE hill?

This has happened to me before. I ended up changing jobs as a result; I couldn’t work for a woman who promoted injustice. I climbed the hill. I was proactive, made my statement, and moved forward. I didn't die.

I am at that point in my life again, standing at the base of a very personal hill. I have relatively little armor to put on, except the confidence to know that something needs to change for me. It is time to move forward. I think it’s time to climb a little, though I do feel afraid.

Maybe I’ll be surprised at the outcome.

4 comments:

Chelle said...

Hope everything is ok, or at least ends up that way.

tara said...

For me, the outcome is always a surprise, even when I am positive I have it all figured out.

For you, remember that there is one random stranger out here in the blog world who is cheering you on, every day!

happyfunpants said...

Just so long as you know that you're not climbing that hill alone. I'm here to help - any way that I can.

maria said...

Wow, what bravery -- and discernment. Keep us posted, and we're rooting for you.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Gingerly Casting My Medal Aside In The Most Polite Way, So As Not To Cause A Ruckus

I suppose there are always “consequences” for our actions. I mean the wrestler who threw his Olympic bronze medal on the mat and walked away in disgust is now banned from participating in the sport for two years. That's a consequence. Most of us nod our heads and say, “Yes. He deserves that consequence for unsportsmanlike behavior, by God!” Maybe that is the correct reaction. But probably to the wrestler, it was worth making the statement – to fight what he judged as being an injustice - even though he has to endure the consequence.

My former boss, Mr. Adams (and I think I can now say his name since he has retired) always used to ask me a question when I felt like there was an injustice being “committed” in my vicinity. He used to say to me, “Ginger, is this the hill you want to die on?” I assume he said “hill” because, let’s face it, around these parts there are no mountains. The point, though, was clear. He wanted to know if it was worth risking my opinion, my reputation, my job in some cases, to fight for what I think is right. In most cases it was not worth engaging in battle; the injustice wasn't egregious enough to fight against.

I have to admit that I am a passionate, reactionary person and have for several years worked at trying to be more measured – to take a step back before I react, to breathe through emotions, and even “sleep on it” before I respond. In most cases this is a good thing. I suppose that this is some form of maturity training or pearl of wisdom that I seek. I fancy this quality - patience, we might call it or an attempt at understanding - a good one to possess.

But what happens when we decide that whatever we are facing is the battle we want to fight? What happens when we decide that this hill is THE hill?

This has happened to me before. I ended up changing jobs as a result; I couldn’t work for a woman who promoted injustice. I climbed the hill. I was proactive, made my statement, and moved forward. I didn't die.

I am at that point in my life again, standing at the base of a very personal hill. I have relatively little armor to put on, except the confidence to know that something needs to change for me. It is time to move forward. I think it’s time to climb a little, though I do feel afraid.

Maybe I’ll be surprised at the outcome.

4 comments:

Chelle said...

Hope everything is ok, or at least ends up that way.

tara said...

For me, the outcome is always a surprise, even when I am positive I have it all figured out.

For you, remember that there is one random stranger out here in the blog world who is cheering you on, every day!

happyfunpants said...

Just so long as you know that you're not climbing that hill alone. I'm here to help - any way that I can.

maria said...

Wow, what bravery -- and discernment. Keep us posted, and we're rooting for you.