Friday, March 30, 2012

I was taken to see the movie "Act Of Valor" last night and I have to say that it was everything that I had heard it was. If you know me, or even if you don't, you know I hold a deep abiding respect for those who serve in our armed forces and our criminal justice community. As a rule, most people I know who serve in these two communities share both the value of ethics (Ethics: Knowing what is right and acting accordingly) and exhibit the strength of valor (Valor: Courage in the face of danger.)
As with any group, you will always find some individuals that fall short of these values, mostly without extreme loss or cost, at least as far as life or money is concerned. Unfortunately, these same people don't realize the cost relative to the people in whichever group they are associated with as well as the cost to their own reputation.
Recently, I've been fighting a lot of battles in my own little corner of the world, both professional and personal. Both of these have had their own cost. I haven't totaled these yet.
I'm not sure that I care to.
One of the things that hit me while watching the movie was the teamwork and dedication to each other that the members of the teams demonstrated. And then it hit me hard how much has been lost due to the actions of some of my coworkers and their lack of teamwork. This is the cost I am going discuss today.
I draw portions of the following from a quote of Chief Tecumseh. These words were used to great effect in the movie. I hope these words, along with my own, express some of what I have been feeling:
“So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.
While we aren't faced with death at my office, we do face respect. Or rather, lately, lack of respect. I have been totally amazed at the way some people have chosen to act. And saddened at how these people have chosen to treat others. I'm not as concerned about how they treat me - I'm concerned with how they have treated each other. The backstabbing and plotting; the gossiping and pettiness.
I am truly ashamed at how some of the people that work for me have acted. Some, only for a short period but others for years. Experts say that if you do something every day for 30 days it becomes a habit. I guess if you do it for years you have either perfected this as a habit or it is your personality.
What I don't understand is why someone would choose to treat anybody that way.  Are you that insecure that you have to tear someone else down to elevate your own status? Are you three years old? Why is it that you have to declare "That's not fair!" if it is something you don't like. This same person feels the victim in every aspect of their life but can't wait to throw anybody else under the bus at first chance.
Another person won't talk to me because they feel "uncomfortable" talking to me. They would rather jump the chain of command and complain rather than use an open discussion to resolve an issue. This same person, however, will excuse not performing a task by simply saying "I don't think why we should do that". Never mind that it was a task that was given to them by their supervisor. I don't understand how you can simply just dismiss a request by a supervisor. Another excuse is "I don't do that very often and I don't want to do it wrong so I don't think I should have to do that." Really?
One more example. The "friend" likes to buddy up to you, then will go behind your back to others and make up their version of conversations they had with you.  This same person, since they are a neighbor of someone in management, will take advantage of time spent outside of the office to discuss their work-related complaints while coloring their version to place the emphasis on how they are the victim. Many times I have had to meet with management to justify my actions or decisions. To date, I have been in the right with every one of them. To date, this person is still more likely to go behind your back to get what they want. Happy to smile to your face, just as happy to stab you in the back on a daily basis.
Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none.
I hate to say it, but I have been guilty of this as of late. Mostly, and still not all right, because of the anger I was feeling at some of the actions of these people. I tend to turn inside myself at times like this. Mostly for the protection of others.
My behavior wasn't right and the only good thing I can say is that it didn't last long. There is a requirement that while we don't have to be best friends, we do have to work together. Show each other respect.
Don't grovel. We owe it to each other to display the respect we deserve. We deserve to get this respect.
When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.
Sadly, these three individuals have abused every relationship with their fellow employees. Not just the ones they feel in contention with, but also with each other. I hope they realize that the trust they have given each other is a false trust and has no depth. I wonder if they know that each of them will as likely turn on each other as they did on the rest of the staff and me.
Similar to the girl that steals another's husband - if he will cheat on her with you, he will cheat on you with someone else. Who are you going to target when the people you have targeted stop putting up with your actions?
When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home."
Each day we should live our lives beyond reproach. Each and every one of us should be honest, selfless, and humble. These values aren't counter to confidence or self-worth. Rather, these values enhance oneself. If you want to look at it in a business sense, think of it as customer service. Providing good customer service does not include compromising your values.
Be the hero. Your actions should display distinguished valor and ethics. You should demonstrate noble qualities with how you treat everybody.
How you treat people will be obvious, if not to you, to everybody with whom you interact. What you say and do, how you act, will determine your value to others.