On closing the circle

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Pleasantly, I received a fair bit of positive feedback for my “intervention” the other day. I was thanked and congratulated, and actually got an email from the presenter reiterating her appreciation for my intervention and “solidarity.”

I also saw the villain in this scenario again, on the second day of the conference. He seemed to notice me too, but neither of us approached the other. I thought about it, but did not have it in me.

Why on earth would I do such a thing? Well, circular concepts of justice are going through my head. The humanity of all of us, full of faults and strivings. Even in the situation, even in my anger at this man’s actions, I knew he was a person who must have had some motivations for his actions, and who would be affected in some way by mine. I still was not okay with what he did, but knew that I had a choice in whether or not to paint him as the bad guy in the scenario.

I thought that possibly, the thing to do if I had the maturity and universal love to manage it, would be to approach him and see how he was doing and ensure that he knows he continues to be part of the event, welcome to participate. I can imagine that seeing yourself as the person who was yanked off-stage by the walking stick could make one incredibly uncomfortable and inflict a different type of lasting hurt than that potentially experienced by the person in the facilitator role.

Well, as it turns out, I was not able to do that. In keeping with my attempts to think about the incident holistically, I decided to accept my current limitations and be glad that I am avoiding dualistic thinking and can consider him and the entire situation with compassion.

Would you have approached him?

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2 responses »

  1. Kamilla, you did the right thing! I had a similar experience years ago but I did not step in as it only lasted seconds and no time to decide what I should do. No one else intervened either. To this day, I regret not having taken action. It is not important how you did it but that you did it. You set a good example for others to follow next time they see something similar, and you won’t regret having done something about it! I’m still waiting for another such opportunity to “redeem” myself!

    • Hi Kian, thanks for commenting here! I know that there have been times in the past where I wish, in retrospect, that I HAD stepped in – possibly that regret, as you say, fueled my recognition that I had to do something. I look forward to hearing about when that situation eventually arises for you :).

      I find myself wondering what kind of education, training, spiritual development we could teach and practice as a society that would help more of us comfortably step into these problematic situations. My understanding from social science research is that there is a gap between theory and action, yet I do know that where I am at emotionally & spiritually affect my ability to engage with others. There’s a program at our other campus that I want to bring up that teaches active witnessing: how to respond to such situations. I’m hoping to bring it up here and maybe work towards a culture of speaking up and stepping in.

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