Last week, my childhood friend and I were talking about my plan to switch from Comcast to ATT (more on that later this week). His caution to me: beware I don’t cut off my nose to spite my face. After careful consideration, I’ve come to the conclusion that we need more nose jobs.
Now, my friend is a trusted adviser. His suggestions grow more sage through the years. But, I felt he, unwittingly, touched on a more important point.
The switch I have now officially made is all about principle. However, his comment is illustrative of a subtle decay in the general fabric of society. We shrug and give in too much.
We won’t send that food back that was prepared wrong in the restaurant. But, what if they spit in it? What if it still comes back wrong? Whatever, I’ll just eat it. I don’t want to cause a fuss.
Is it fear or embarrassment that forestalls us? Neither should.
We won’t speak up when the boss treats us or someone else in the office unfairly. What if there is retribution? What if the co-worker resents our butting in? Might as well just shrug and ignore it. No sense causing a fuss.
But, what if there was no retribution. What if the boss actually responds and changes things? Because, he or she might have their own fears of the issue being escalated. What if the co-worker would be grateful for your help and backing them up?
And when it comes to politics? Well, half of us shrug and say we’ll wait for November or 2020. For or against, if there are things we feel aren’t right, we shouldn’t be waiting to speak up about them. Because we shouldn’t simply accept our (perceived) inability to make a difference.
Most of the time, we let these little surrenders go. It’s not that big a deal. We’ve got mouths to feed and bills to pay. There’s already enough aggravation in our lives.
Except, they add up. Insidiously. Nefariously. Every time we shrug and give in, a little more of us is eaten away. Principles. Morals. Optimism.
So, a resigned cynicism begins taking root. Maybe not overtly. Perhaps not even noticeable at first. But our view of the world and of our power to affect it begins degrading.
It makes little battles seem big and the big battles seem impossible.
And yet, it’s not that hard to change it around. Because, it only takes a few small victories to realize we have real power. How we wield it is entirely up to us, but defending our principles is not a bad start.
Expect decent service. Look for fair treatment. Demand honest representation. Reward those that give it to you and challenge those that don’t.
I think you’ll soon find it’s hardly cutting off your nose. And even if it were, we need more nose jobs.