One of the greatest gifts I have ever received would have to be friendship. To me, true friendship is a relationship where I’m seen and able to have true dialogue; where I don’t feel the need to answer, “I’m doing great”, when I’m not, and we speak about real concerns and real issues. Most importantly, these are the people I rely upon to call me out when I’m out of line.
Recently, one of my dear friends posed a question to me, and his question was: “When is it our responsibility to say something, to speak, and to intervene?”
My friend was at the airport and someone was openly smoking a blunt (a cigar-type marijuana product), and there were many kids around. My friend questioned himself, “Should I say something? And how do I not say something, when it will surely have a negative impact on all of these children?”
How often do we hear people yelling, hurting one another, or just plain suffering, and we don’t speak up– we don’t say something?
If someone lit up a blunt in my house in front of my children, you better believe I would say something, yet in public I really had to think about it.
What do you think? What are your beliefs? And what would you have done in this situation?
There are circumstances i.e. if someone is hitting someone else, or a child is in danger, then I would absolutely step in and do my part. Yet, when it comes to the non-obvious situations like I listed above, I choose to think about the chances that the person will hear me, listen to me, and take what I say to heart– even if they don’t immediately change their behavior.
In short, If I’m just wasting my breath and it’s going to land on deaf ears, then I choose to keep my mouth shut. It’s not about the need to tell; to me, it’s about whether I can have a positive influence or impact. I am my brother’s keeper, yet that is only if I can help my brother know that he is in fact my brother.
This week, let’s try to influence others to change, yet let’s do so in a soft manner– not an arrogant, better-than-thou kind of way. If we wish to have a positive impact on others, we must approach situations with kindness and empathy, reminding one another that we are all brothers and sisters.
Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love
I want to remind all of you that you can hear more on my podcast, Showing Up. We have lots of amazing shows with interesting guests on a variety of personal development topics. It would be great if you could also rate 5 stars, review and subscribe to the show. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/showing-up-with-asher-gottesman/id1489856285y