Vail Daily column: We are better than that
Here’s the scenario — you have been invited to a function or party where you know that there will be a few people in attendance who will be cynical, judgmental and opinionated and who will speak condescendingly to everyone they feel is not quite an equal. It is so obvious we almost choose not to attend the party so we don’t have to be subjected to the torment.
But we are better than that. We know there will be more people attending that we do care to see and be with and we predetermine in our mind that if we become the target of glares and stares or a sarcastic or condescending remark that we have prepared our gracious and powerful response as we take the high road. We do this because we are better than that.
Or maybe we are waiting patiently in a line or traffic and we see someone trying to get ahead of us, they are weaving into our lane or trying to cut the line. We watch as others get aggravated and we observe the wrong and rude behavior of the line cutting perpetrator, but instead of jumping on the road rage bandwagon or shoulder block the person trying to get ahead of us, we slow down and again offer grace as we allow them to get ahead of us. We do this because maybe they have a real reason or emergency to attend to, but more importantly, do you know why we do this? Because we are better than that.
Taking the high road is never to be mistaken as being a doormat. I am not advocating weakness . I am advocating strength. It’s easy for the weak and not confident to take out their frustrations and insecurities on another person or attempt to take advantage of a situation or control or manipulate someone. It takes strength, confidence and grace to take the high road, see through the veil of the phony and to provide encouragement through the strength of our words and actions. And why do we do this? That’s right, because we are better than that.
And the sooner we can help embrace this concept and share this message with our friends and children, the sooner we can maybe make a difference in the world. Maybe that difference is in our own family, our circle of friends, the social circles we travel in, our workplace or our houses of worship. Most importantly, we need to get this message of being better than that into the hearts and minds of our children and grandchildren, and maybe we can stem the tide of bullying at every level.
So are you the person people worry about being in attendance at a wedding or party? Are you the person who maybe considers yourself above the others who will be there? Were you a bully when you were younger and continue to bully others in your adult life? Is your child one of the bullies at school? These are tough questions, I know, but I ask you these questions because if you answered “yes,” or even feel as though you could have answered yes, I have great news for you … you are better than that, too.
What’s your story? What is your opinion? I would love to hear all about it at firstname.lastname@example.org. And as we provide grace to one another and take the high road, and as we all realize that we are indeed better than that, or we are at least capable of being better than that, this will be a better than good week and the start to a better than good life.
Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker. He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.