Rhetoric

I am haunted by my actions in what I did as well as what I did not do during a recent business lunch.

It is a difficult story to tell, if only in the knowledge that I cannot undue the hurt I contributed to.  My confession is not offered with the idea that someone reading will offer me forgiveness.  Rather, my confession is a reminder to myself that within me lies good and bad, idealism and exploitation.  In this, I walk as tall as the man who is perfect and as low as the one who took advantage of others for his own benefit. In this paradox, “who” I choose to be is best described by my what, how, and why behind the “choice of action” in each moment.

At the lunch, my companion decided to create some drama, if only to play with the hearts and minds of the servers and see how they would react.  Any one of his demands, if presented as a request and a favor, could be taken as an exception.  When combined, it was one person imposing their demands on another.  My failure of no calling him to account was compounded by joining with him on his charade.  I am not sure who borrowed my physical body, because it could not have been the “Bill” I represent.

It is easy to look back and see the irony of any protests of innocence when others are caught between my words and actions.  The echo lingers; “I’m all for peace, but the minute I tell them so, they go to war!” (Psalm 120.6) They have experienced what I am unwilling to see.

The haunting which lingers can also be heard as an invitation.  It is a thread of reality which now has a voice and calls me into positive action.  It is a sad truth which crystalizes my resolve to be a force for good.  While I cannot undo the damage done, I can address the imbalances within reach.  My rhetoric can be more.  It can find new life with each choice.

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