The offers to help came in from the team that were, in my opinion, the source of the problem. My initial reaction was positive. This offer was the change that I was looking for! We had an opportunity to build something on this. In the days that followed, nothing actually changed for the better. The only change I could see is that the limited avenues of communication we had previously were now closed.
The cliché always refers to “wolves in sheep’s clothing”. Metaphorically, I understand, however life is rarely that simple. Every action is not as simple as it seems. The drivers in our lives include emotional survival, the need to belong, and the thirst for hope. Depending on one’s perspective and framework, we act. The actions that follow are rarely understood in context by others. Each reacts to the other in context of their unique way of seeing life.
Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us to always look at life through the eyes of the Other. His advice echoes many before him – Jesus and Wisdom Fathers across the ages.
In one case, “some of the sailors tried to jump ship. They let down the lifeboat, pretending they were going to set out more anchors from the bow.” (Acts 27.30) It is easy to be critical, but they were tired and scared.
In my case, there is an opportunity to reflect, understand, and act in way that deals with the other’s fears, uncertainties, and doubts. It is an opportunity to make a positive difference. It is an invitation to reach for more while inviting others to be part of solution.
There is a risk with this response. The wolves may take a bite out of your or my backside. We may end up battered and bruised. Yet, I wonder. Is life about being defensive, protecting one’s self and dealing with one’s fear? Alternatively, is life about making a difference, always reaching for more?
Today will tell our story of choice. The wolves will be out in force; so will opportunities for us to make a difference.