I was speaking with a client today and he mentioned a previous boss, the most wonderful leader, a very clear minded soulful guy who was on a success trajectory in the corporate world. But then he signed up with a company that was in trouble and went about making changes, changes that I would guess were much needed. Wise, long term thinking kind of changes.
However, his superiors did not have the same strategy in mind. They were more interested in the short term fix to get the share price back. The company went through extreme times and someone had to be the scape goat. How easy it was to make my friend the one to point the finger at.
This happens every day around the world. The people who put themselves out into the world for all the right reasons. The wise, soulful, deeply caring people who see a future that cares for people, planet and purpose, and as a result make a profit.
These same people who then get targeted when things go even slightly sour. Or stepped over in the stampede for more status and power.
The brave…the outspoken…the activists…the ones who cannot sit at home and complain…instead choose to get into the fray.
My friend allowed this incident to shatter his self esteem. He is still lost in the dark night…trying to find himself…forgetting that his actions were good and true and beautiful, and that he was never lost, only honourable in a world that finds dishonour the easier game to play.
He feels the weight of projected shaming. And he finds it hard to stand tall…
Yet if only he could see the need for people like him….if only he could disinfect himself from the stench he has allowed to penetrate into the marrow of his nature.
I am reminded of the exert from the speech by Theodore Roosevelt,
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
All hail my friend and leader. Your time may now be dark, yet this too shall pass. Thank you for being one of those who step, again and again, into the arena. I see you. And I know well your pain, for I have born it too…as have many of your unseen, unknown allies and friends.