There are very few issues that I can't process a bit before responding. I may have a strong reaction on the inside, but I try not to let it show on the outside...at least not right away. That wouldn't be fair to the others involved, and it certainly wouldn't be fair to those who expect me to lead in a measured and thoughtful way.
Except for one thing.
In that case there's no processing, no calculated responses, no nervous laughter as I try to figure out my next move. When I hear, or see, or experience these moments the gloves are off and I'm all in.
I see it...I hear it...the jokes...the good 'ol boy comments...the underlying messages about race, LGBT persons, and the role of women; which is quickly followed with some sort of twisted justification as to why they should be treated differently (read here --> like second-class citizens.)
Sadly even some companies, political "leaders", and countries take pride in their public attacks on other human beings who happen to be different from the "majority."
I'm here to tell you that kind of hatred doesn't work for me. Whether it's hiding behind "faith" or using subtle innuendos that degrade others. It's still hate. It's not being rude, or crass, or flip.
What happens to you when you are confronted with these embarrassingly misinformed and juvenile behaviors? Does your heart rate pick up speed? Do you feel the pressure in the room change to something almost oppressive because everyone knows it's wrong?
Do you know in that specific moment it's time to strike back and lead? Or, for you is it time to welcome the familiar nervous laughter back for another appearance and hope the topic of conversation changes quickly?
My reaction is all too familiar now. I must confront the bigot. Nervous laughter is no longer an option. Hoping for someone else to step in is no longer an option.
I am the option.
How About You
Consider the choices you make in your life. Who is part of your inner circle? What leaders do you follow? What companies do you support? Do their behaviors align with your values? When you are confronted with these behaviors again, consider the most effective option that is available --> you.
You are the option too.
I'd love to hear from you.