Conspiracy of Silence
Direct Answers - Column for the week of January 12, 2004
I'm hoping you can help me with a moral problem that crops up every now and then in my personal and professional life. Sometimes I find myself being blamed for an error or lack of judgment that actually occurred on someone else's part. For example, I asked someone at work about using a certain location for a display, was given the go-ahead, then chastised for using that location.
When the only way I can defend myself involves pointing the finger at someone else, I'm in a real quandary. I am rarely prepared to defend myself if it means making someone else look bad. I handle the problem by saying nothing. I simply don't know what to say.
There is usually ample opportunity for the person responsible to come forward, but I find that hardly ever happens. How can I handle this type of problem without taking the low road of attacking others? What is the moral or ethical thing to do?
Karla, each of us has principles of behavior rattling around in our head. These principles range from the Golden Rule to Miss Manners' etiquette to the Boy Scout Creed. Often we are not sure which principle to apply.
The principle you are applying here is the playground and schoolyard rule which says one shouldn't snitch to a parent or teacher. It is not an ethical rule so much as a rule children employ in play. A much more basic rule applies. That is the rule which says, in simple justice, each of us deserves to be known for the person we are.
Your lack of explanations makes you look guilty. Coming forward and explaining why you acted as you did should not be a moral or ethical problem for you. It is simply a matter of fact. If you acted because Sheila told you to do it that way, or the employee handbook says to do it that way, or you have always done it that way and no one told you otherwise, you are simply reporting a fact.
You should look at this as an impersonal matter, much as if you are reporting the time or the weather. When you report facts in these situations, there are three rules to remember. The three rules are: don't apologize, don't apologize, and don't apologize. An apology is due when you have done something wrong; no apology is called for when stating the reality of a situation.
Karla, you don't have an ethical problem here, but the people who know the truth and remain silent do.
Missing Holiday Spirit
This Christmas I went to a lot of trouble to find special gifts for my grandchildren. I have some health challenges, and it was a stretch physically to shop for these gifts. Since I was in their neighborhood the week before Christmas, I left my presents under the tree ahead of time.
They expected me Christmas morning, and I called ahead to say I was on my way. When I arrived carrying two grocery bags with food, my grandson met me at the door saying he really liked the books. I couldn't believe my ears. They had opened my gifts without me!
I told my daughter I was disappointed, and she said she was "sorry" I hadn't left "instructions." Her husband told me they have a rule in their house: no whining. What should I do? Skip Christmas for them? Forgive and forget? Move?
Clara, if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there, does it still make a sound? If a child receives a gift and you are not there, is he still filled with joy?
Don't skip Christmas with your family. Next year take the gifts with you on Christmas morning, and be grateful for a son-in-law with such a wise rule for his household.
About The Author
Authors and columnists Wayne and Tamara Mitchell can be reached at www.WayneAndTamara.com.
Send letters to: Direct Answers, PO Box 964, Springfield, MO 65801 or email: DirectAnswers@WayneAndTamara.com.
The Meaning of Life
Life ?.. Indeed is full of learning's, experiences, facts and lots of sad and happier moments full of love, emotions, affinity, dislikes. This four letter word can very well be described as:
Patience - The Antidote for Stress
Why is it so difficult to hold steadfast to a commitment to the very thing we desire? I'm sure you've had the experience of challenging your client with something to do, or to be, in service of moving them closer to their heart's desire. As you reconvene again and again, you note that the client can't seem to stay committed to the steps that will realize their dreams. Certainly the age-old response is fear--but perhaps there is more going on.
Why Read Inspirational Quotes?
Maybe you've heard this one:
Finding Inspiration to Realise Your Dreams and Ambitions
"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great." Mark Twain
The Best Gift to Give Yourself and Others
I'm often asked the question, "How can I best help my children, spouse, family member, staff member, friend etc. improve/change?" In fact that might be the most frequently asked question I receive, "How can I help change someone else?"
What is it that stops you from jumping off a 5 story building, is it the fear of falling, the sudden stop at the bottom or knowing that you cannot fly?
Who Are The Underminers?
How many of you had the experience growing up of being told in various ways to limit yourselves from being all you can be? The movie "The Incredibles" is a wonderful metaphor for this. In this movie, the superheroes ? the people with extraordinary powers ? are restricted from using their powers.
Change is difficult for many people. Often times our whole identity is wrapped up in what we've learned as children will work for us when dealing with people, allowing us to survive, thrive and fit in. While some people have had to learn to thrive in the midst of change and learned to be adaptable by being open to new ideas and embracing change, many others have had to fight for survival and every table-scrap that came their way. Behavior is learned and it takes work to unlearn and dismantle these old beliefs.
Myth And Reality
Direct Answers - Column for the week of February 2, 2004
Do You Feel Headed For Shipwreck?
The ocean liner Achille Lauro sailed perpetually under a dark cloud. In 1953 it collided with another ship. In 1975 it rammed a Lebanese vessel, killing four people. In 1981 it suffered a fire that claimed two lives. In 1985, Palestinian terrorists grabbed world headlines by seizing the ship, slaying passenger Leon Klinghoffer, and dumping him and his wheelchair overboard. In December of 1994, off Somalia, a fire broke out in the engine room, forcing all 1,000 aboard to abandon ship. Two days later, the Achille Lauro sank to the bottom of the Indian Ocean.
Abused as a Child
Child abuse is a much more common event, than is usually expressed in public. I recently attended an event, where people were asked to discuss their darkest secrets. Out of the thirty or so women in the room, nearly two thirds expressed their darkest secret as, being about child abuse and two had had terminations, created by a family member.
Fulfilling Your Dreams: The Magic Of Starting
Fulfilling your dreams will remain a mirage if you simply sit down and dream on.
Lisa was born into a loving Christian family and went through life knowing of The Lord and his supreme sacrifice. She was accustomed to Amazing Grace each Sunday and saying grace before meals. Lisa knew of the birth of baby Jesus; that worshippers came from far and wide bearing gifts. After all this was no ordinary birth.
The Finer, and Finest, Things in Life
In America, we have a saying: The finer things in life. These are the things that most people talk about when they are speaking of thing of high quality. In fact, much of that which propels people to pursue success, particularly financial success, is the desire to participate in the finer things in life.
The Four Emotions that Can Lead to Life Change
Emotions are the most powerful forces inside us. Under the power of emotions, human beings can perform the most heroic (as well as barbaric) acts. To a great degree, civilization itself can be defined as the intelligent channeling of human emotion. Emotions are fuel and the mind is the pilot, which together propel the ship of civilized progress.
Keeping Your Attitude Up When Circumstances Are Down
Everyone knows that a positive attitude is key to the successful life. But what happens when things go wrong? What happens when circumstances deal us a blow? We have a tendency to let our attitudes take the dive along with our state of affairs. Life deals us setbacks, both minor and major, on a regular basis, but if we are going to be successful, we need to know how to deal with them and keep our attitudes intact! We need practical tools to help us understand how we can go about keeping our attitude up, when the circumstances are down. Here are some thoughts to help us do so:
What Does it Take to Make Life Better?
What does it take for you to pay attention?
Life Inspiration: 12 Tips for Successful Living
1. Constant affirmation without accountability is a sure-fire way to cripple a child. In other words, belief in yourself without responsibility leads to a sense of entitlement.
Circles On The Water ? The Impact You Make On People?s Lives
When you were a child, or maybe even when you were older, did you ever toss a pebble into the water and watch the ripples that emanated from the point where it broke the surface? Or watched the effect of raindrops falling on a body of water? I have done these things and have since found myself pondering on this process, and just how much it can be compared to our lives.
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