Falling On The Sword

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Sometimes things happen that we don’t agree with or like. 


We may even get blamed for them when we didn’t do anything wrong. 


At times like these, there comes up inside of us a strong visceral feeling to speak up and out–to right the wrongs!


There are times when we can, but there are also times when it may be better to hold our tongue for another day. 


In the olden times, people that spoke out, often had their tongue cut right out in front of them–no questions asked.


These days, thank G-d, most people may not be that cruel, but still people get punished for speaking truth to power–when the power is tone deaf or possibly even behaving more as brutal dictators than as benevolent leaders. 


The problem for the average Joe is that there is no point in losing your tongue or even your head by acting rashly or imprudently.


Better to wait and plan for the right moment to be effective and stand with integrity for your ideals and what you know in your heart is right. 


Maybe even at times, we have to fall on our swords until we can make a strong and convincing case and change both hearts and minds to betterment. 


The point is not only to do what’s right, but to make things right in the world around us.


Swords too often can come out swinging wildly, unless we carefully sharpen them and practice our lunges and cuts, and work to repair the wrongs in the world as soldiers of righteousness. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Dirty Laundry Usually Doesn’t Get Aired

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The way to fix problems is to first identify and acknowledge them.


Only then can you focus on them, commit to them, really address them, and make things better.


The BIG problem though is fear. 


Usually dirty laundry doesn’t get so easily aired. 


Generally, people don’t want trouble. 

“The nail that sticks up gets hammered down.”

And who wants to be the one to get hammered flat and for of all things, doing the right thing?


We don’t encourage transparency.


And we certainly don’t reward transparency. 


As I once overheard:

“Uh, you better keep it in the family!”

So things get kept in the family, and the big burly husband is a drunkard bum and the wife is abused and the kids are abused, and the sh*t goes on. 


Shhh…


Open door policies, hotlines, and other mechanisms are helpful, but don’t go far enough. 


Bosses need to ask point blank and with full and honest assurance of confidentiality and non-attribution or retribution:

“Tell me what’s really going on here.”

When there is smoke, there is fire, and where there is skunk stink, there is skunk.


The only way to know the truth and make a difference is to get to the truth.


In life, is anyone willing to “do the dirty” and finally get to clean? 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Mice End Up Dead

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So there are three main ways of reacting when in a bullying situation by someone:


1) Passive – You can sit back and take it for now, shutting your mouth and turning off your feelings, maybe even running for safety, as you get temporarily scr*wed, but perhaps maintaining the moral high ground and smartly saving your chips and choosing your battles for the right time and place to set things right and the record straight. 


2) Aggressive – You can fight back, make sure you have a good strategy, but you may nonetheless end up blamed or bloodied, or who knows, maybe you actually win the day, but also you need to be sure to win the war. 


3) Assertive – You can hold your ground, assert your rights, maintain your own opinions, and do what you believe is right, being firm in your self-determination, but you could be reprimanded or punished for not falling in line or best case scenario, you could actually end up being respected for it.


Listen, there is no one right answer, but you need to be a man and not a mouse.


Protect yourself–and as long as you don’t go overboard or act like a jerk–be you, be proud, and don’t let anyone mistreat you. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Courage To Do The Right Thing

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So it takes courage to do the right thing. 


It’s the easy way out to shut your eyes and overlook when things are wrong. 


Taking a stand and standing up for what’s right often means fighting the good fight. 


But who wants to fight?


Everyone wants to live in peace and quiet. 


In fact, every day we pray repeatedly in the Amidah for peace


In the 19th prayer…

May it please you to bless your people Israel at all times and in every hour with your peace. Blessed are you, O Lord, who blesses his people Israel with peace.


Then again after the prayer for thanks…

Bestow peace, goodness and blessing, life, graciousness, kindness and mercy, upon us and upon all Your people Israel…May it be favorable in Your eyes to bless Your people Israel, at all times and at every moment, with Your peace.

And yet a third time at the end…

He who makes peace in His heavens, may He make peace for us and for all Israel; and say, Amen.

What can be more desired than peace and wellness in our lives?


Yet, when we see corruption, wrongdoing, and evil, people are called on the confront it, and stand up for good. 


Because when evil prevails, there is no real peace in the world. 


Hence, the courageous and righteous are called on to stand up based on integrity, merit, and values, and to work to return a state of justice and peace. 


G-d watches to see to it that good ultimately prevails over evil. 


May He who makes peace, make peace for us and all Israel, and let us say Amen. 😉 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)