Best day ever, worst day ever
Quandaries, paradoxes and dilemmas
It is not so much what you believe in that matters, it's more the way in
which you believe it and proceed to translate that belief into action.
*** Lin Yutang (1895-1976) Chinese Author
Sometimes one has to act based on what one thinks is the right thing to do. The one decision that will lead to making meaning by doing the right thing. And this is hard. Today was such a day. Taking a stand has implications and what I did, did.
But by taking a stand I moved forward with helping some people. It also put me against other people who might be impacted by it. And that is a quandary, a dilemma, and a paradox - all rolled into one. But yet I did what I wanted to do. It is done. And I have to deal with the impacts whether I like it or not. And stand up to those impacts. But I am glad and proud that I did. In the end, I believe that what I did might achieve a greater good.
So I said “no” to myself and my impasse and acted upon what my instincts told me to do.
“Yes” is magical. It brings possibility and forward motion.
But it’s almost impossible without “no” and no can be just as frightening.
First, there’s the no of “I can’t go for that.” The no of refusing to race to the bottom, the no of avoiding the selfish hustle, the no of walking away from instincts or shortcuts that strip others of dignity and possibility. This is the no that creates our standards.
And then, there’s the no of “I need to be a meaningful specific, not a wandering generality.” What Zig (Ziglar) meant by this phrase was that the guts of focus and specialization are useful when we put ourselves on the hook and do something that matters instead of simply pleasing whoever is sitting right in front of us right now.
When we offer a generous “no” to someone we care about, we honor our work and their role in it. We care enough to offer them insight about the change we seek to make–and to tell them the truth about what we can’t do at the same time that we’re celebrating what we can do.
Getting to no requires caring enough to make a difference and being brave enough to tell the truth.