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  • Writer's pictureHeather Austin

On Coming Late to the Battle

Posted on Thursday, February 02, 2017 9:06 PM

We've been distracted. We've been busy. We've ignored the sounds of battle outside our town. It's Their problem, we may have said. It doesn't affect Us, we say. It's not a big deal, just a little skirmish. Rabble rousers causing problems we don't need to engage with or worry about. But wait, maybe it's gotten louder. Maybe the battle has come closer to our town walls. Maybe we've caught sounds of rounds going over our heads. Maybe that battle actually Is something we should pay attention to. Maybe it's a big enough problem for us to get involved in. So we venture outside our walls and see that yes, this is a fierce battle. People are being killed. People are being tortured when they are caught and incarcerated. Some pretty horrible things are going on in this battle. So yes, we feel empassioned enough to join the fray. We are used to power, so we automatically try to take over. After all, we have fought wars before. We are good at tactics and have read many books on battle strategies. So we charge in and try to take over. But lo and behold, those who have been fighting this battle yell at us. They accuse us of trampling over them just like those they are fighting with. But we're not like them! We are here to help! Can't they see the difference? Wait…do we look all the same to them? That feels pretty yucky doesn't it? We want to raise a fuss, to protest that we're not like them. But you see, talking about that, reassuring us, all the soft niceties that we wish for just don't have space in a battle. They take time and energy away from fighting the enemy.

Instead of charging in all raring to go, how about checking in with those who have been fighting so long already? Ask them what they need help with. And accept it when they tell you. Don't try to do it your way, or suggest an alternative. Trust that they know what they're talking about and do as you're told. It might be that the kitchen needs help so that warriors can sit down and eat good food when they get a break. It may be fixing and polishing armor that's been dented and bruised. How about you gather up all the latecomers and fill them in on things that you've been told will help?. So they don't have to stumble and trip over themselves and others, and can be more ready to jump in and help out.  I bet you could even infiltrate the enemy ranks and influence change from there. I know it'd definitely be wise to educate yourself on the nature of the enemy. And maybe begin to understand why you look so much like them. Because in a way, you Are them. Swallow that pill even though it goes down hard. When you do, you'll be a much better co-conspirator in this battle.

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