“It” still runs downhill.
You know what I’m talking about: the offal of bad experience, the toxic byproducts of life, the waste of goof ups…
It follows gravity and if you’re at the bottom of the hill, you are sometimes in the path.
Some of “it” we create ourselves. We lose our tempers, say foolish things, make bad decisions or act inappropriately.
Sometimes others do those things and send the consequences down the hill towards us.
Like you, I’ve been downhill from somebody else who created the problem. It is never appreciated.
It isn’t always possible to explain why it happens. It isn’t usually fair (unless we’re responsible). And it is never pleasant.
So…what to do?
Keep looking uphill. If you see it coming, move. If you can’t get out of the way, prepare for it. Sounds obvious, but how many times have we noticed it heading our way but stood around too long to avoid or prepare for it?
Always ask yourself, “What is my responsibility, if any, in all of this?” Take ownership for your stuff. You can’t blame it away. This part is hard, by the way. Nobody likes to admit they goofed up. But the only worse is goofing up and denying it.
Take a stand. Don’t throw it back up the hill. Fighting it with it will only lower you to the level of the sender and you end up with it all over yourself. I just got a whackadoodle email from an unpleasant person and the temptation was to email some of the unpleasantness back. I didn’t. It would have only been fuel for the fool’s fire.
But don’t be a pushover either. Maintain your integrity: accept appropriate responsibility but refuse to be someone’s whipping post. Don’t be petty, but bold: explain what happened, why and if necessary call the sender on his or her behavior.
Don’t send it downhill. Be considerate of the folks down the hill from you and do what you can to protect them from all the stuff you hate sloshing over you. Be a levee, not a floodgate.
I came across the quotation below over the weekend – it’s been my thought for today, after a bit of a goof-up last week!
“Almost all our faults are more pardonable than the methods we think up to hide them.”
Francois de la Rochefoucauld