I think I did right. But I could have done better. Someone was hurt. It is likely that was inevitable. But they could have been hurt less. I was responsible, not solely or singly, but as the leader, the one with alleged control and authority. I claim that responsibility. Now it troubles me. Persistently. And I think that is also right.
It should trouble me – not as punishment, but as compensation. Did it not trouble me, there would be nothing learned and no room for growth. To be a better leader, a better person, I must continue to learn and grow. I must question myself. I must be troubled from time to time.
So now I wonder, will it always be like this? It’s no longer an academic exercise where I could accept less than best because only I bear the consequences. When I fail, will people always be hurt? Will it be more common as I move from the classroom to the field? Will I be more troubled? Can I be more troubled?
This I can bear. I can think my way into bearing it. I can feel my way to settlement with this burden. But where will be my breaking point? How do I see that wall coming before I run into it? How many more people have to be hurt and how much more deeply?
It is a good thing I do not drink to forget. I thought about it long and hard, but after two sips of whiskey, I put the cap back on the flask, experiment over. This is not a coping mechanism I have any interest in. So I went and made some hot chocolate and came back to my keyboard. I listened, inwardly and outwardly, and I wrote. The piano’s song flowed. The words came from my heart, out my fingertips, and proclaimed a truth.
I think I did right. I could have done better. Next time, maybe I will, and if not, I will be troubled again. That is also right. And so I am all right as well.