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"Do Not Come Here For Justice"

“The distinction between safety and justice is often blurred, but it becomes clear when you are walking down a crowded city sidewalk, and an athletic young man grabs your pursue or briefcase. As he runs off into fast-moving traffic, justice requires that you chase the youth down to catch and arrest him. But as he zig-zags through traffic, cars barely missing him, safety requires you to break off the chase. It is unfair that he gets away unpunished, but it is more important that you come away unhurt. (To remind clients that my job is to help them be safer, I have a small sign on my desk that reads, Do not come here for justice.)”

From Gavin de Becker's "The Gift of Fear," on the topic of security -- but relevant in general to remember not mixing up your necessity for winning and protecting yourself with the desire to make others lose and avenge yourself at your own expense.

Musings on Fear and Expectations

On DROdio

I may be one of the few people who would argue that much of the world revolves around fear and expectations, but let me try to present the argument to you.

First, the part on fear.

Fear plays a major, major role in all of our lives.  In fact, it's kind of like an invisible friend that follows you around wherever you go.  Every single decision you make has some element of fear attached to it.  When I say that, I mean that fear played some part in the decision making process.  While that may not be a huge deal, the huge deal is that we rarely acknowledge its participation in the decision making process.

Fear is like gravity.  It's always there, and we get used to it.  Fear sometimes spurs people into action, and other times withholds people from acting.

Like I said, every decision we make has an element of "fearsomeness" consideration. Do you turn left on the yellow light or wait?  What if a police man sees you?  What if you get hit?  But what if the car behind you thinks you're going to pull through the light and they hit you from behind?   All elements of fear.  That's an easy example, but what about the more subtle ways fear affects us. Some people grow up with parents that tell them 'you can be anything you want to be.'  Others have parents who say 'you have to be a doctor (or lawyer or XYZ) to carry on the family tradition.'  The fear that the child won't honor the heritage of the family dictates that whole person's life.  Imagine!  One simple emotion dictating a person's entire life.  If that's not deep-in-your-gut, mind blowingly significant I don't know what is.  And few people face their fears!  Instead we mask fear by other terms.  "She's just shy"  or "I'm just not good at [insert skill]."  For example, being a telesales representative is not an easy job.  I've rarely seen fear show its face so clearly as when you put a phone in front of someone and ask them to start cold-calling.  Few people can stand up to the constant rejection.   Oh, and how about public speaking?  How many people would rather die than speak in front of an audience (literally - studies show many people  would rather die!).

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