Sunday, June 30, 2013

"Trying to change unfair behavior with submissive niceness"

"The problem is that trying to change unfair behavior with submissive niceness is like trying to smother a fire with gunpowder. It isn't the high road; it's the grim, well-trod path that leads from aggressive to passive, through long, horrible stretches of passive-aggressive. The real high road requires something quite different: the courage to know and follow your own truth. If anyone in your life is exploiting your courtesy and goodwill, it's time you learned how all of this works." - Martha Beck 

So.  Thoughts on the intersection of this and Christianity?  (Especially the bits of common wisdom in the evangelical culture today?)

In my experience, this quote is correct.  I worked with some amazingly terrible and toxic bosses at my last job.  I did try the old Christian standby of being humbly submissive.  It didn't work.  I went down that crappy path and in the end found myself loathing the schadenfreude I felt when my bosses' incompetence caused them additional problems (and no only because their problems caused more problems for my beleaguered co-workers).  It was a very bad place to be in.  I don't recommend it.  But how do we reconcile our desire to stand up for the oppressed (ourselves and our co-workers) with the command to turn the other cheek?  It's a tough balance to try to figure out. 

Any thoughts or experiences you've had that you can share?

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