Bud – Thanks for making me think about this a bit. I know that I struggle too with the conflict of action vs. causing harm to an individual sometimes. I am not sure if this makes sense, but I think that the key for me is reflecting on my main objective. If my goal is to push for something that is better for the collective good and in the process an individual is upset or hurt, I believe that I can live with that. However, if my motives are to go after someone who I dislike or rubs me the wrong way the I think I usually have regret.
I have spent some time talking to my 14-year old son about what happens when we get angry and let ourselves engage in a personal war of words with someone. My question to him, which I can relate to from many poor choices of my own, is “How did you feel afterward?” He agreed that the emotionally taxing feeling that comes afterwards is not worth the energy expended.
Anyway, I love The Four Agreements, and being “impeccable” is a great thing to strive for. It’s a high bar that I know I will never consistently reach, but I will keep trying. Ultimately, if we can look in the mirror and live with our words and actions it really doesn’t matter what someone else thinks. Those who know what makes you tick understand where you are coming from.
Thanks again for sharing this!