Business and life are full of politics. It isn’t a good thing or bad, it just is. People who pursue this as a vocation are often assumed to have morals just below the lowest of the low. Yet, in spite of our ridicule, every relationship with three or more people in it contains some quantity of politics.
New Yorkers never question this fact of life. Their ongoing curiosity is merely how to respond to the good and bad politics of the day. There is no automatic answer, variations seem to multiply depending on the motivations of the various parties involved and touched by the last decision, choice, or action. Yet I find myself in the same situation as others, searching for guidelines and perhaps even an answer to questions that continue to multiply as the web of politics spins in forever more complex patterns.
Is a pure tactical response the best? Does one approach each situation as if nothing had happened before? What about the unknown, what does one do with the facts just beyond your reach or understanding?
Wisdom’s answer is simple. “If you see your enemy hungry, go buy him lunch; if he’s thirsty, bring him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness, and GOD will look after you.” (Proverbs 25.21, 22)
In practicing this approach there are two reminders. First, the decision to respond in a spirit of compassion to your enemy’s situation will probably be among the more difficult choices you will ever make. Your heart yearns for action, for retribution, or at least a stand of strength. To bring mercy into the equation is a choice that defies logic.
Second, stepping outside of the immediate is a gateway for more things than you can imagine. I easily forget what happens when I exercise compassion, especially with those who have caused me pain or grief; opportunities each to participate with the Spirit.
Politics are often negative but you and I can start the change. It all starts with our next choice – compassionate mercy or self. It is that simple.