"If we believe a thing to be bad,
and if we have a right to prevent it,
it is our duty to try to prevent it
and damn the consequences."
-- Lord Milner
This quote jumped off the page at me to remind me that though I have actually followed through on this occasionally, I have failed to follow through so many more times.
I used to drink a lot. It was very common in the auto business when I was coming up in the 1970s, and I have driven when drunk and I know full well how dangerous and stupid that really is. Fortunately, it was very rare and I didn't have to go very far, but one block is too far in that condition. Nobody stopped me and there was always that opportunity. I've seen a lot of people go get in a car when they shouldn't and I don't recall seeing anyone stop them. Live and let live? Or is it, out of sight, out of mind?
Well, later in my life I made far better decisions. One time a few years ago, I was at an event and several people had more drinks than their body was handling well. I had an opportunity to step in and stop someone from getting in a vehicle to drive 20 miles to their home. This was a big guy and he had the keys in his hand. I stood in front of the door and asked him to give me the keys and I would drive him home. He wouldn't do it. There were threats of bodily harm. This went on for a good 15 minutes or so. In the meantime, people are laughing and driving out seeing this and thinking nothing of it.
Finally, I sucked up all my courage and flat refused to move. I said he would have to hurt me badly to get past me. At last he relented and I drove him home. I had no idea how to get back to my vehicle, but found a way. I felt good. I felt like I saved someone's life that day, and it may not have been his.
What felt good to me was that I had the power to stop something that I knew was wrong and I acted on that regardless of the consequences. It took boldness. It was more an act of love than anything, because I care very much for this person.
As I looked at this quote, this story came to mind and along with that many times when I could have taken charge and didn't. I'm not looking back in regret because that is a total waste of time, but looking back with a mind to know that next time I won't be holding back either.
I can also think of a number of ways to apply this idea. . . in business, and personal areas. It's not about being righteous, or being a do-gooder, but I think we all know when we see a situation is just wrong and then I also think we know what to do. We just don't always do it. Like me. Still, let's celebrate the times we do.
Make The Choice. Speak Up. . . Who Is That Talking?
Spread Some Joy Today--Let your love guide you. Your joy will demonstrate your choice.