I look back at individuals I have worked with over the years and a few stand out. There are two types. On one extreme is the camp where we steps forward. In a range of roles and relationships, from managers to peers, from mentors to collaborators, from good friends to casual acquaintances, the individuals in this group touched my life in a positive way. I look back and see that we made a positive difference. There are a few standouts, frequently defined by time and adversity. Each continues to be strong influences for good in my life.
I know the other camp for the battles waged, even when I did not want to fight. In differing degrees of evil, the individuals in this space were driven by a need to elevate themselves over others, ignoring the common good, obsessed with achieving an outcome. One might want to avoid them, but that is rarely an option when they are part of a shared corporate community.
I described meeting one, a standout in darkness, as a dance with a viper. I know vipers do not dance. Their intent is to take on food and adversaries without fanfare or hesitation. Strike. Take the outcome. Move on. Walking into the offices of this leader was like walking into a den of vipers. The best I could do was come out alive.
I knew each visit was dangerous. There was never any doubt about it. I did have a standing prayer; God, “when those thugs try to knife me in the back, make them look foolish. Frustrate all those who are plotting my downfall.” (Psalm 35.4)
Life likes to remind me that there are dark dens along your path and mind. Sometimes I am not aware of their existence until after I have passed. On other occasions, the advance warnings are obvious. I do not think one can avoid them, but one can see them in context.
In our world, evil often thrives. In the present, you and I get to choose. I want to walk with others making a difference.