We’ve all been there at one point or another – we’ve heard or seen something that was wrong, something that goes against the grain, values and/or common sense of humanity or worse yet, might actually expose the worst in someone. The question is what happens next? Do we walk away as a bystander, as the victim, the secret conscience of the guilty party, or do we stand up and hopefully right a wrong?
Life and the circles of business and society that swirl around us every day are ripe with injustice and deplorable behavior, and it is up to us to remember our own spiritual version of the Golden Rule and hold our values tight. However, as with everything else in this world that isn’t the easiest thing to do…especially when the injustice has been thrust upon us. So what’s next?
Unfortunately, power comes with knowledge and that alone presents a powerful fact, because such power is often used against us, knowing we will be silent so as to keep our lives intact as much as possible. Indeed, we do often pray to forget and move on, hoping justice will eventually catch up to those with less than good intentions and morals…because face it…who really believes the little guy? Who believes the subordinate? Power may come with knowledge, but it is status and money that come with a voice.
Recent headlines again threaten to tarnish yet another once solid figure in our lives and history, claiming this person was a self-serving abuser, who used power and status to satisfy urges and desires past what was right or condonable. There was no he said she said here, there appears instead to be a he did she was, and when that happens, battle lines get drawn and everyone who has no knowledge in the matter has an opinion. I doubt there is a better definition of blood sport.
When the dust has settled and the stars look down upon us, the simple fact remaining is we all just want to just be happy and have something in life to hold onto. For some of us, that might mean walking away from an abuser who has used their power to threaten our security, chalking it up to a learning experience in life that we hope to never repeat. However, for others, the experience eventually becomes a disease that must be cured before life can continue, and they are the ones who blow the whistle and ask to be recognized…even if it won’t be pleasant.
Looking at all the dirt and trash we walk through as we mature, wanting to clean up our own part of the world makes sense. It is our way to offer a fresh start to our families and let them know what is right, and to stay the course as much as possible. However, as with any part of nature, if it isn’t constantly tended and watched, the dirt builds back up, trash and decay reappear and soon it is as if nothing had ever been tended.
As someone who has stood on the edge of the should I say or should I go professional mountain of wrong, I know my silence wasn’t right…however, at the time it was right for me…a choice I had to make as a young single mother. Many times over the years, other encounters less physical also crossed my path, again giving me the choice to speak up or walk away, and although I did try several times to right the wrong, I quickly learned one small voice in this uncaring selfish world of excess isn’t heard, and you must live with the aftermath nevertheless.
So for those today that are speaking up, I give them praise and applaud their strength. I also offer words of firsthand knowledge to those calling them liars and opportunists: Unless you have been there, felt violated, felt helpless and most of all, felt trapped please shut up! You weren’t there – you have no idea the situation or how the need for survival might have reacted in your soul.
Once something is broken, is forever broken and even though it may have been mended, it will never again be what it was or what it might have been. However, sometimes it does become stronger after having been reinforced, and that is exactly what we need to do for those who take the step to speak out. We need to reinforce humanity, compassion and honesty no different than clearing a livable path in our world of decay so others won’t have to face the pain.