People are ruled by emotions, no matter what we imagine. Emotions are fearsome beasts that we try our best to keep under control, but they do raise their heads now and then. We cannot allow them to become uncontrollable.
I was watching an old movie “Changing Lanes” with Samuel L Jackson and Ben Affleck, about two people who crossed paths in an unfortunate manner, and ended up on a journey of hatred and destructive actions. The story ended on a good note where the two people realized the futility of hatred, and reconciled.
The movie resonated with me very much, especially when I experienced the brunt of a few people’s destructive behavior in 2004.
The year started out just fine, and I was happily prodding along the year on a good note. However, sometime in the middle of the year, a senior executive of a non-profit got into the media limelight, where some people implied that a greater sense of expenditure transparency should be explored. My blog too, published a couple of questions about this story (merely questions).
The next thing I knew was that I was slapped with a nasty legal letter. His board and him were rather unnaturally aggressive in their approach to the whole matter, and the only option for me was to publicly apologize through the public media (including TV) and so on. I did, against the wishes of my family, and it would appear this bunch of people “won.”
Strangely, life is a finely tuned balance of Divine design, and the bunch of people were eventually put into microscopic scrutiny and the judiciary process, and subsequently wore the shame of judgment and then punishment. I was vincdicated. I was merely a collateral damage in their insecurity, but nonetheless, my personal professional business was in ruins.
But, again in a strange twist of fate, two great things happened to me despite my apparent ruin and humiliation. One, I found out who my real friends were, and who were mere pretenders. It saved me the trouble of tending to the pretenders from then on. Second, I found my calling and my purpose in life, and as some of my dear friends and my family knew, the rest was history.
If I resorted to aggressive offense or defense during those trying times, I might have gone on a war path and who knew, there could be more dire consequences for them, and also for me. Yet, I chose against all apparent counsel, to retreat and with humility submitted to mere might. But as I retreated, my sight was opened and illumined, and my path brightened. My life became so much more at peace, and I discovered that jewel of great price, of affirming the meaning of life.
Life can be a journey of difficult decisions, and often demand thoughtful and compassionate deliberation. The most direct and most apparent of decisions may often backfire, and the gentlest and most humble of decisions, especially if borne out of compassion and love, often yielding the greatest of intrinsic rewards.
Dr Seamus Phan is the Head of Content and CTO at McGallen & Bolden. He is an expert in branding, marketing, communication, leadership training, crisis management, and entrepreneurship. This article may appear concurrently on his blog. Connect on LinkedIn. ©1984-2018 Seamus Phan et al. All rights reserved.