“Inaction is safest in danger.”
– Silius Italicus
Imagine the following sequence of events.
A man robs a woman. The woman commands her dog to attack the robber. The dog bites the man. The authorities have to put the dog down.
This is a dream I had a while back. It made me ask myself: “Who’s wrong? Who’s right?”
I’d like you to take a minute and ask yourself who you feel is to blame for this, albeit fictitious, debacle?
My first feeling was that the man was clearly wrong. Then I felt that the woman did wrong by commanding her dog to attack. Also, the authorities were wrong to put the dog down.
In short, everybody was in the the wrong.
Those were my initial reactions. But were they necessarily true?
It’s easy to place blame on one or several decisions. However, as critical observers we aren’t wholly objective.
When we look at what happened through the lens of “this happened” without adding any value judgements or meaning, we get a more dispassionate and understanding approach to the issue.
As an added bonus we’re more prone to ask what questions about what lead to the situation in the first place.
In this particular case we don’t have the backstory, and we never will. Because, you know, dream.
Look, everybody’s responsible for their actions. When we decide to act we should be held accountable.
Once we’ve dealt with that part of the equation we need to look at what systems or insitutional issues we can address that can prevent these things from happening in the future.
Now, this shouldn’t be used an excuse to not do something when you can and should, but often we forget that we have systems to deal with those particular issues.
While allowing some room for exceptions, inaction is often frowned upon. I mean, it’s not common to honor those who show restraint.
Remember that we do in fact have the option of doing nothing. Sometimes it’s be the strongest move we can make.
Can you remember the last time your inaction paid off?
Have a kick-ass ₢eative day!