Sunday, October 10, 2010

The High Road

Sometimes it's really hard to take the high road. There are times when I desperately want to right an injustice, but I know I don't always have to stand up and fight. There is a time to speak and a time to stay silent, and the silent part is the hard one for me.

Why do some people have a sensitivity to issues of justice, and others don't seem to care if they aren't affected by it directly? Even as a child, I had an overly developed sense of right and wrong, and become outraged when I perceived there to be an inequality. Of course, as an adult, I recognize that my perspective is biased and warped to suit my own needs, as is everyone else's, and so my idea of perfect justice is actually as imperfect as the next person's.

I think I long for some kind of utopia where we all maintain our own opinions and ideas, but we communicate those concepts with respect and kindness. I'm not sure this dream will ever be possible in the broken world we live in, and that thought makes me sad. I want to leave a better world for my kids and the children that they will have, but sometimes I don't see it happening, and my heart sinks like a stone in my chest.

Never is this sort of thing more apparent than at election time, and we are in the thick of it with Jason running for civic politics in our town. It's been fairly positive up until this point, and I knew going into it that a thick skin would be required, but when it rears up and becomes personal it can surprise you with its violence. Even if it's not personal for us, the ill will that exists toward others manages to feel personal to me.

Until I can learn to disable my ultra-sensitive personal radar system, I must find ways to manage what I feel and observe. My worth as a person is not tied into what others think of me; it never has and it never will, but old habits die hard. I would like to search a little harder for the positive things all around me instead of being defeated by the negative ones. There is just as much good will as ill will in the world, but the negative stuff stings so badly that it tends to drive away the happier bits.

It's all in my perspective. I'm going to stop and be intentional about finding the people who have the ability to communicate respectfully, even when they don't agree with me, and let their optimism light the way. I can't change those who are unfriendly to me. I can only do my best to be friendly and kind to them, and improve when I fail to be as polite as I would like to be. I don't want to punish anyone, regardless of how they treat me, but this concept is easier stated than practiced, and must be worked on every day in order to see improvement.


  1. Hmmm, very true. I think I grew up like you - passionate about injustices - but as you get older and see how hard it is to right those injustices, it's easy to become jaded and to give up trying. Somehow it's easier to see negatives than positive, so you're right that we need to focus on the positive - and to keep fighting for what we believe in. :)

  2. Thanks for your perspective, KBW. It makes me feel better to do something positive to counteract the negativity I find all around me. Even in small things, I think it still helps a little, and I'm going to keep trying otherwise I'll be pulled down and back into complaining with no action taken, and that doesn't actually get you anywhere.