Thursday, April 8, 2010

What Boomeranged Lessons Can Teach Us

There are many types of lessons that we encounter and have to master in life. There's certainly the formal ones we get graded on in school and later, if we're lucky, in the workplace. The kind of lessons that are typically structured, easy to decipher, and take immediate action on. These are the kind of lessons that hopefully build upon each other, expand our knowledge, abilities, perspectives, and prepare us for what we'll need to be able to survive on a daily basis. These are the kind of lessons that I've typically had no problem with. I speculate that most sensitives also find themselves able to simply observe, absorb and then meticulously go about cranking out the results, without second thought.

Now if those formal lessons were the only things we had to learn, life might be a whole lot simpler. Yet, as most of us find out sooner or later, life is a lot more complicated than a+b=c or whether or not your boss can check off all the boxes on a sheet of performance standards that someone sitting in a shiny office has concoted for others they'll never see. Informal lessons, like the retribution an employee might face for speaking out against a company's gross negligence or standing up for the mistreatment of its employees as people, can hit us hard. Probably more so than others. Especially when we know what's being said about us and the accusations being thrown in our faces are far from the truth. Especially when others who aren't trying to intimidate us into compliance (i.e. silence) tell us otherwise. Perhaps one day I'll write a sort of sequel to Leigh Branham's "The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave" based upon the culture of my current employer alone. But, I think I've given them enough of my time, my energy and certainly enough of my esteem, integrity and respect to compromise any further. Besides, I already got an "A" on the first chapter, employer "subsidized therapy" while conducting my research and that wasn't quite the lesson that I had to relearn today.

Today I had to relearn an informal lesson. One that I've seen a preview of before when I was twenty. Back then the problem was that I was a female, an independent thinker, furthering my education, far from a politicking ass-kisser, too adept at my job and probably just a little too good at acknowledging the actuality behind the facade everyone wants to portray to save face. "Sound familiar?," I asked myself as I reflected on my past. I guess I didn't truly learn my lesson the first time. Back then I almost gave myself an ulcer or two with the anxiety that I would continue to get falsely accused and punished. Now, after spending a few hours crying and realizing that this experience has literally torn away at the core of who I am, I've gotten the message.

The only person who can help you is you. Sometimes people will play games to either punish you or get you to do what they want. It isn't fair and it isn't right. Picking yourself back up might take time, but worrying about how much farther you might fall before it's over or internalizing their facade isn't worth it. The only thing you can do is continue to do your best. Do what you know is right and stand up for it. The most important thing is to not stop trying because someone else wants you to.

Change can only happen when someone says that the way we're doing things is costing us from having them be the way they ought to.

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