As I caught up with a friend, our conversation drifted to other conversations that had caught us off guard. As I described an interview years ago that had gone terribly wrong, she immediately knew whom I was talking about. It was a twist that I did not see coming. We had never spoken about the conversation. I had no idea that the individual that reacted badly had a relationship with her as well. It was a broad circle that got very small very quickly.
The irony of the story is that his behavior was consistent in both situations. The difference was that she was on top of the conversation in her situation and I was coming from below in mine. In both the old cliché played out in the same way; “Bad guys have it in for the good guys, obsessed with doing them in.” (Psalm 37.12)
The fact that there are bad people in your life and mine is something we know all too well. The lingering question is one of response. What do we do with them? It is too easy to say that one should “just ignore” or “rise about it”, but these words often ring hollow given the realities of the daily grind. I keep reminding myself of a few mantras that help me when the worse moments occur.
Individuals have the freedom to be whatever they choose to be. While one should respect their choices, one does not have to be subservient to them.
One can look for different options in responding to the individual and their actions. I can be respectful and honouring while still holding them accountable. I can be compassionate and understanding while calling out acts of self-centeredness when and where they are found.
Letting actions go unchecked is a choice. It will likely lead to even more extreme actions. Alternative responses include creating space between us or taking actions to eliminate the need to interact.
I have seen the miracle of a changed life. While allowing for this, Life reminds me that nature needs Divinity for change.