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Doing Right

March 12, 2011


"Woman Wandering" by Craig Cloutier, courtesy of Flickr.

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.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Holly permalink
    March 12, 2011 8:51 pm

    I think the best leaders are those who find themselves persistently troubled.

  2. Jacob permalink
    March 13, 2011 11:28 am

    You succeeded as a leader. It was your job to represent the interests of the association itself, and most of us were not on board with the plan as it was being moved forward. You represented the interest of the association flawlessly and with great sensitivity.

    Its good to question yourself and critique towards a fuller expression of your values. But I don’t think you could’ve handled it better.

  3. March 13, 2011 1:26 pm

    Thank you both. That means a lot to me. :-)

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