As promised – my aged perspective continues. When I was younger and much more idealistic, or at least more willing to proactively battle for my thoughts, ideas, etc., I would “go to battle” over everything. Nothing was too small to take a stand on.
I’ve learned that not everything is worth going to war over. I learned that just because my son decided to have his senior picture taken with long hair, it didn’t mean he was going to grow up to be a panhandler. The tattoo on his sister’s foot also didn’t relegate her to a life of crime. Things that were taboo in my youth, today are much more accepted. I have learned that keeping the lines of communication open carries far more importance than drawing a line in the sand on every little issue. So, today I’m much more willing to find a win-win for everyone and to be the peacemaker instead of the warmonger.
However, I’ve also learned never to compromise my ethics. Things are not always black and white, or clearly right or wrong. Many things are shades of gray. But, deep down I always know which direction a looming decision should go in. Whether it’s the type of work our company produces (or doesn’t produce) or directing a client in the way that is in THEIR best interest (not because it will produce revenue for us), I usually know in my gut what the right decision is. No, I’m far from perfect, and there have been times in the past, when I made the decision based on what I wanted – not what was right. I’ve lived to regret those decisions.
The most valuable lesson I have learned is that my most precious asset is my integrity and that I will protect at all costs. After all, if you can’t take me at my word, then what value could I possible have?