Friday, April 12, 2013

It's How We React That Counts

Has there ever been a time in your life when something happened to you that you felt was unjustified? Has someone ever said anything to or about you that was knowingly false? Have you just felt that sometimes you get the raw end of the deal?  I imagine all of us have experienced one or more of these scenarios at some point in our life.  I know I have.  It is at times like this that can define our character and show to all around us what we are made of. And sometimes, our reaction TO the false accusation or unjustified behavior towards us is more of a problem (if not dealt with in a mature manner) than the actual issue at hand. 

An incident recently happened to our business that I allowed to fester inside me; something that I chose to be upset about.  Was the incident unfair? Absolutely. Do I have tangible proof that what was inflicted upon us was unjustified? You bet. Was there dishonesty towards us in this recent experience that had a negative affect on our business? Yes.  (I will clarify by saying it wasn't a negative affect having to do with our reputation, but rather a financial incident). And after all the proof given to the proper authorities concerning the unjustification towards our company, the decision was made to side with the one inflicting the false information.  I was stunned. I thought for sure that people of a sound mind, having in their hands the proof to show we were in the "right", would make the correct and honest decision.  I was wrong. 
When I received the information telling me of the decision, my first reaction was one of anger. I was so upset that this person had presented false information, while I KNOW I had presented honest and accurate evidence. It seemed so obvious to me what the outcome should have been.  I am realizing more and more that the world we live in is not as concerned with honesty as they should be, and that lying a little here, and a little there, won't hurt anyone. Or so they think.  It is also showing me that many in "higher authority" think I should be taking care of those that don't put forth their best effort in taking care of themselves. That it is somehow my responsibility to continue to financially support them, regardless of how that affects our company.
Did we choose to start a small business on our own? Yes.  Did we realize how hard it would be? In many respects, yes.  Did we expect to be treated fairly by employees, vendors, government officials, etc. etc....? We sure hoped we would be. Did we realize there are those also who simply have no respect for the business owner, the employer? Yes, however, we would prefer to give someone the benefit of the doubt.  Although we cannot control how others will treat us, we certainly CAN control how their behavior will affect us.  Sometimes, that is the hardest part of all.
On my drive home from the post office, after reading the decision that was made, I was upset.  But I know how I can get when I don't control my emotions.  I said a silent prayer to God that my heart would soften, that I would not let anger take over, as disappointing as the news was.  I did not want to let the unfair people and decisions involved control ME.  They may think they have "won".  But what I have to gain from this experience is more valuable than anything tangible they will receive.  I KNOW I have been honest. I KNOW what the truth is, whether they want to see it or not.  I KNOW that I will be able to sleep at night knowing I did not take advantage of anyone.  I KNOW that I can learn from this, and not allow their poor choices to influence my character.  If I allow them to control my reaction, then they surely have won.  And I will have lost so much more.
There are a lot of unfair things in this world.  Too many to dive into.  We all have had unfair things happen to us.  Sometimes we feel it is our duty to prove the wrong that was done.  Sometimes, that is what we need to do.  But other times, after all we have done, it's time to be content with what our heart knows.  Does it make it right, the unfair thing that happened? No.  We will still continue to fight our issue at hand until after all we have done, can be done.  But I have faith now that I can do so with  a softer heart, not one of stone. I know that regardless of the outcome, it is enough for me to know what I know. What I know is..... I have a beautiful family that I love, and who love me. I know I have a loving Heavenly Father who helps us in our time of need. I know that I have much good in my life to be grateful for, and that is where my focus needs to be. Not on someone who lies their way through life.  It is such wasted energy. I think it is in times such as these, that God wants us to prove to Him our character.  He does not want us to be vindictive.  His ways are ways of love.  Let us turn the other cheek, as hard as that can be sometimes, and in the end, to be content with what we know is right.