Stormy People

Approximately a year ago, a client (now friend) suggested that I must, “have to be very emotionally stable to do my job”. I replied that the job was making me emotionally stable…forcing / stretching me to be so.

I have spent an inordinate amount of time puzzling over my interaction with a specific individual this past week. His body language suggested that I was wasting his time. His words were more direct than comfortable. And he aggressively asserted that the idea I was presenting was “asinine” (utterly foolish). Ironically, he picked up a marker, drew a circle around a word on my whiteboard, and with exasperation insisted that, “this is the only thing that matters in the end”…which moved him from staunch opposition to unwitting advocate in seconds.

Sooner or later, all of us will meet with opposition to ideas. Sometimes the opposition will be assertive yet gracious, other times direct and condescending. Sometimes it will be that people are just pressed, insecure or otherwise off balance…not acting in the grace that they normally may have.

In any event, we must remember that people are not the enemy…they are the reason we exist to do what we do. We must continue to hold ourselves accountable (100%) to our mission and values, living them out in authentic congruency. This is the way to our mission’s sustainability and impact. It is also the route to our personal stability and maturity.

Success in this case is not simply tolerance, but rather living beyond tolerance to embrace the brokenness of the human condition we are experiencing in another. We grow in patience, humility, love and peace as we hold steady, and facilitate an opportunity for our “opposition” to do the same.