Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Picking your battles

This is a concept I've been thinking about a lot lately.

For a long time, I used to think that there was a right way and a wrong way. One person, institution or behavior was right, and the other was not. There was no gray involved.

I thought I had an obligation to speak up, to change other people's minds about something. As a good friend would ask me "How's that working for ya'?"

I also felt I had to defend certain things - even if these things or people didn't directly impact me. Even if I wasn't remotely responsible for that person, place or institution. Defend that friendship, relationship, political system. Again - it was my responsibility.

Because it did have to be a battle - one person had to be right, the other person wrong. There was no "agreeing to disagree". There was no respect that each person has a basic right to their own perspective and opinion (and preference). And those perspectives may be different and that's okay.

People could not be equal. One person had to win.

I talked about little bit about standing behind your own opinion here.

So I agree that sometimes it makes sense to speak up - to defend one's "truth". And to stand behind what you say.

But I have just been thinking that some people may never understand or be convinced of some things.

So what is the point of engaging, if my opinion has not be directly asked? What do *I* get out of expending the energy?

For me, personally, it goes back to minding my own business. Figuring out what *is* my business and what is not.

I don't have to sit back and allow wrong (hurtful) things to be said, to sit back and watch abuse happen.

BUT - on the flip side, I get to choose whether or not I want to be involved, and choose if I need to be directly involved.

It is a gift, in my opinion - to have this choice. That way I can spend my energy on things I *can* change, on having a reasonable discussion where everyone's right to their own opinion is respected.

And it's not a hard and fast rule. I simply no longer have to convince the world that my way - my personal perspective is "the right perspective".

1 comment:

Freckle Face Girl said...

The need to defend is certainly something I am familiar with. :) My boss used to tell me that I didn't need to be everyone's lawyer. I am also learning to take a step back.