Ah, if it were only one time. Maybe then I wouldn't feel bad...or, at least not as bad. But over the years I've had multiple examples of staying quiet.
Sometimes it was an executive far senior to me. I couldn't challenge them, right?
Sometimes it was my colleagues, and I guess I wanted to somehow fit in. Did my silence achieve that goal?
Sometimes it was a family friend. Although they never stayed friends once I finally got in their face.
Sometimes it was a classmate, and I'm sure I didn't want to be targeted since I was part of the "in crowd."
Things are different now. I don't worry about losing friends any longer. When the crude jokes, sexist comments, bigotry or hate rises up, it's open season on them. The reality is that those people are showing their true colors and don't deserve my friendship...or even a connection.
So I'm at a point in my life (and have been for some time) for those that choose to be mean, should expect to be called out publicly. I don't care if it hurts their feelings. I don't care it if makes a situation very awkward. I don't care if it is not politically safe to do so. I don't care what they think of me.
The people I work with are watching me. The organizations I serve are watching me. My children are watching me. I don't plan on disappointing any of them.
How About You
When the sinister elements in our world show themselves, what do you do? Is it a personal affront to you and your legacy; or, is it "just their personality" and you've learned to live with it?
Remember who's watching.
I'd love to hear from you.