When in Doubt…Take the High Road!


Have you ever been in a situation where you are being nice or kind and someone takes a shot at you?  You know what I mean.  You are minding your own business and getting your stuff done with a great attitude and suddenly someone comes along and pees in your Cheerios!  You were really having a great day; you were feelin’ it and then, “KAPOW” someone pays back your love with nastiness or anger.  In that moment of time; in that instant you have a choice to make.  Will you take the high road or will you lower yourself to meet them on the low road?  Sure in the moment the low road feels good!  Sure you get mad and you can think of a whole lot of stuff to say, but after that moment is over with, where do you go from there?  Don’t you feel a little embarrassed; a little angry with yourself?  Don’t you really wish you wouldn’t have let them take you there?  But alas, there you went and here you are…

I had just such an incident happen to me yesterday.  I teach a course on building relationships and was working on preparations to go and teach the course at our program in Northern California.  After about four days of preparation, in addition to also having to carry out my responsibilities as the Program Manager here in Utah, it became apparent that I had formerly sent out the wrong materials for the workbooks to the Program Manager (my peer) in California.  It was a pretty serious error on my part because she had to print binders with about three hundred pages in each, times twelve binders.  Uggghhhh…  So after realizing my error I tracked down the cause to the new training disk I was using; which unbeknownst to me, had numerous chapters in the workbook mislabeled.  So I reached out to my compadre with a very sincere apology (high road) and offered empathy acknowledging what a burden I was placing on her (high road); offered to help make it right with her (high road) and apologized some more (high road).  Well, much to my surprise she responded with some serious nastiness.  She informed me in no uncertain terms that she was not going to spend any more time at Staples and did not have time for that crap!  I repeated the above process acknowledging and apologizing (high road) which landed me an even nastier response, “I don’t care if there was a problem with the disc, I’m a Program Manager and frankly don’t have time to do this before next Tuesday!”  As you can imagine, by now I’m thinking of quite a few “low road” comments like, “I have been preparing this crap for your folks (not my folks) for four days now and oh by the way, I share the same responsibilities you do in addition to what I’m doing!”   (Followed by some angry swear words of course!)  I chose otherwise and waited for a response.  I waited and waited and waited, all the while telling my ego to hush and “no!  don’t you type that!”  I had a choice to make.  I could choose love and take the high road or I could indulge my anger and go down in the bushes for a fight.  After some time went by and nothing appeared to be changing, I decided to text her.  In my text, I apologized again and offered to help in any way that I could, stating again my understanding of what a pain in the a** this must be for her.  Shortly thereafter, she texted me back and said she would make the copies for the training.  But, I didn’t stop there.  I asked if that meant she still loved me (tongue in cheek) to which she responded, of course!  No bruised egos, no hard feelings, no fractured relationship.

So what did I learn?  I learned that I just cannot lose when I choose the high road.  Love truly never fails!  Sure I had to swallow some anger and you might even offer that I allowed her to walk all over me.  But, I didn’t feel like someone took advantage of me.  Instead I felt like I chose God’s love (for God’s sake) and was subsequently rewarded with loving feelings and great satisfaction.  That’s not to say there aren’t times when you have to draw lines or speak up; no, not at all!  But, when in doubt, why not choose the high road instead?  It’s hard for folks to point fingers at you when you have chosen the high road.  In fact, it’s hard to even stay angry with someone who refuses to be angry with you (try it out sometime!).  I don’t know about you, but I’d rather end the day having chosen good than to succumb to evil.  And, it’s certainly no coincidence that when you set your mind for good, that trouble comes along.  Something, somewhere is conspiring for you to make choices that end up only hurting you in the end.

So, instead of being overcome with evil, why not overcome evil with good?  (Tadaaaa…Bible verse)  Why not choose love?  Not because you are a wimp or spineless or afraid, but because it matters far more what God thinks than what people may think.  And here’s a promise for you, if you habitually choose the high road, soon you will find yourself living on it and you will be one happy son of a gun!  Haha

When in doubt, take the high road…

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