I had a whole other blog written this morning.
and I’ve deleted it.
Personal accountability won’t let me post it.
My sense of fairness, my desire to do the right thing, won’t let me send it out into the world.
In Bruce Weinstein’s excellent book, Ethical Intelligence, he lists the 5 principles of EI as:
- Do no harm
- Make things better
- Respect others
- Be fair
- Be loving
As I move through my day, as I continue to work with the amazing people I work with who are committed to ending homelessness and to supporting people in their journey home, I begin with the realization that to do no harm means to allow space for all points of view, for all behaviours, without judging, condemning, criticizing and complaining.
I have let anger, confusion, disappointment, sadness discourage me.
The situation isn’t important — what’s important is — how will I respond? How will I behave?
We all have situations that create angst and cause concern.
My friend Ian at Leading Essentially, posted a catchy phrase from one of the coaches at a course he’s taking. She says, ““I would be happy if you would just change.”
I would be happy if the individual in question would just change their behaviour so that it doesn’t cause so much angst amongst people I admire who are working hard to end homelessness and are not doing what they do to create worse, they are doing it to create better.
But… the other person changing isn’t my issue.
What am I willing to do to change my perspective, to be fair, to be loving — all those are my responsibilities and concerns.
I cannot change another — and I can’t force them to see it my way either.
All I can do is create space for someone to be where they are, as they are, and in the process, accept that we are all where we are at, exactly as we are — and we’re all doing our best, where ever we’re at.
Sure, I may think they can do better — just ask me!
I may believe they’re ‘doing it wrong’.
But in fact, my thoughts about what they are doing are not the issue causing me angst.
My thoughts around how I am responding are.
Which is why I deleted my original post.
That post wasn’t about doing no harm.
It wasn’t about creating better or respecting others — I was respecting the people I work with, but not really all that respectful of the individual in question.
And it definitely wasn’t fair or loving.
So… I deleted it and am learning from it.
In essence, because of the dynamics of the situation, I am in a position of power.
To wield my power as a bludgeon, or a knife, is to do harm.
To exercise my voice as a tool to override theirs does not create better — it simply silences someone who is struggling, like all of us, to make sense of something in their world that is causing them pain, anxiety and fear.
to learn from my actions is my responsibility. To grow from my mistakes holds me accountable.
I wrote a blog this morning that did not create better in the world.
In writing it, I found my way clear to where I could see what I truly needed to do was to be more compassionate, caring, kind and fair.
In deleting it, I let courage draw me out of anger so that I could drive away my confusion and find myself once again, in Love.
May your day be filled with moments of grace that fill you up with limitless opportunities to be compassionate, caring, kind and fair. May you surrender all fear and fall in Love.