What do you do when you can see that someone is making a choice that is driven purely by aggression and fury? That for them to pursue such a decision could lead to damages of epic proportions that either they are not seeing, refuse to or cannot see because they’re just way too angry?
Do you let them be? Do you allow them to pursue matters however way they choose, regardless of the consequences? Do you leave them to their hostile ways even if you know very well the damaging effects of their ways, especially of a legal nature?
Will you intervene? Will you talk them out of their ‘dangerous’ choice and give them your unsolicited advice even if their minds are made up, and they are hell-bent on fighting for their rights, no matter how damaging their approach is?
Our team faced this dilemma. The ‘opposition sector’ of our team of volunteers, in our opinion and from our vantage was setting themselves up for trouble.
It may not also be the ‘opposition sector’ only; it may even also be a significant sector of the greater [residential] community.
If it were up to me only, I’d let them be. Let our neighbors pursue matters and fight for their rights in a hostile way as they so choose. It is, after all, their rights.
It is also their journey.
Who am I to decide for them how to tread their paths, eh?
Good Ol‘ Rescuing Days
Oh, during my rescuing glory days, I would be taking the lead in convincing the team that it is our duty and responsibility to ‘save’ these folks from trouble. From the trouble that my neighbors don’t even know they’re getting into.
I would interpret it as the reason I was led to such a situation. I would see it as my purpose. My mission. I would offer my advice — even if it isn’t asked for. I’d most likely insist it upon others.
I did want to ‘help’ them, you know.
But my definition of ‘helping’ has now shifted. I no longer equate ‘saving’ with ‘helping.’
Allowing Others To Grow
I now believe that there are times that people need to fumble and stumble. People need to fall for them to learn how to get up and rise from the fall.
I do not want to get in the way of others having to learn such a lesson or master such a skill. If being hurt is what will drive the message to them or make them learn the lesson, I mustn’t ‘protect’ them by preventing them from getting hurt.
I must get out of the way — and not insist that my way is THE way.
If I don’t, I would be depriving others of the opportunity for them to grow and learn — and that would be a disservice to them.
I believe experience is the best teacher. No words, no amount of persuading can hammer down a lesson or a message unless the individual asks for it or lives through the experience. That’s why I’d rather let people be to what they want.
But such a belief isn’t shared by the rest of my teammates.
One of them admitted that she isn’t convinced that our aggression-driven neighbors would listen and be persuaded.
But she still wanted to talk our neighbors out of their damaging choices so she could say to herself that she did her part. That no one would be blamed for any eventuality or take any hit down the road.
Oh, that doesn’t sound to me like it is for others then. The motivation to ‘help’ sounds self-serving to me. Guilt-driven. That doesn’t seem very empowering, eh? No judgment. Just an observation and my interpretation.
And I could only respect the team’s choice to reach out and ‘help.’ A decision that, in my opinion, is falsely guided. Again, no judgment. Merely my interpretation.
But I couldn’t get myself to go along with such a move and strategy any further.
Misaligned Beliefs, Values, & Principles
It isn’t a battle that’s worth pursuing. It isn’t a battle that would help the team win the war. We could even end up losing the war.
We’re talking about folks who are too narrow-minded and cannot see the Big Picture. Too selfish to think or look outside of themselves. Too self-centered to take into consideration the greater community or put themselves in the shoes of the other parties involved.
Add to that the fact that their fury so consumes them.
What, then, is the success rate of the team in persuading our fury-driven neighbors to reconsider their decisions, eh?
I find it unproductive. Reaching out to them, in my opinion, is a futile exercise.
It is one of those glaring indications of the misalignment in my beliefs, values, and principles vis-a-vis those of the team’s — the reason, I mentioned in an earlier post, I decided to end that episode and resign from the group of volunteers — for the second time and with much finality this time.
As I wrote in a recent post, time to start thriving again, yeah!
And kudos to me to see how the energy dynamics of rescuing no longer lures me, yay!!!
And that was one growth and transformative opportunity for me, one gift. Only one of the many gifts from this distressing episode for which I’m most grateful, yeah!