Should you ever give up an ideal?
Ever? It is good to find a place in work and life where your own personal code of ethics is able to, not only survive but, thrive. I have to feel good about my work. I have to feel as though I am contributing in some way to the betterment of our industry, that I am making someone’s job easier, that I am not the only beneficiary of my work. What I do, what I give must not only assist but most certainly not be a detriment to anyone else. My personal mantra is to find the better way, in all that I do.
“Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” – Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
A couple years ago, there was a bird who used to sit outside my window and sing the most lovely songs. His songs were complicated, but repetitive – so I learned them well. The problem was that he only sang his songs in the middle of the night, from 1:30am on. I suppose he was searching for a mate and while his song was lovely, the fact that he was singing it at the wrong time, in the wrong manner only caused those around to disregard what he produced, what he gave. And sadly, to be completely honest, it is drove me bonkers; I wished and prayed for his demise – I did feel guilty because like the Mockingbird, all he did was sing and wishing for a songbird’s demise is not my style. I just wanted a night of peaceful sleep. After a month or two, he went on his way and landed elsewhere. I heard him, occasionally, a few times more – but he had moved on and I soon caught up on sleep.
Avoiding Work Seldom Works
We are often given tasks of which we are not quite sure, for which we may not be ready to tackle – whether it is beginning a new project or finishing an ongoing, protracted one that we are not even sure of how to wrap up. There are those who once a difficult part of their job arises or of what they are hesitant, they deviate from the task in front of them. As if the job will magically get done on its own or that by avoiding the work it will disappear. Avoidance seldom works – in ANY situation.
Shake it Up – Change Your POV
Whether or not you “fritter away time” all day or sing all night, the job /task still needs to get done. Sometimes, changing your tune or simply the position of your desk in order to get a different view might be just what is needed. Have you ever played Boggle? Forming words from a shaken set of lettered dice during a restricted time frame. It is a fun enough game, but sometimes perspective is lost from looking at the letters from just one point of view. Turning the set of dice almost every time allows players to create words they had not seen prior to the turning.
Change your perspective and a completely different ideal or practice may be revealed. Look for the better way.