A few years back, a pretty well known individual noted “when do go low, you go high.” Or something to that effect. I remember thinking, that’s nice but not realistic. I, for one try to take the high road, most of the time. But, we are all goaded into that lower level of interaction at some point in time. It’s icky and messy. And, really, doesn’t feel all that great if you truly care. It’s all a conundrum to ponder in real time.
Then I started thinking about the benefits of taking the high road. You feel good about yourself. Perhaps. Until you are repeatedly stomped upon. At some point, you have to hit back. My philosophy morphed a bit. I started saying: “you don’t start the fight. But once someone does, you win it.” I admit I do think that way, at times.
I try to be neutral and find a middle ground, most of the time. And, believe it or not, that vexes people. I have had people complain about my middle-of-the-road temperament. But then they push too far, and we have a different conversation. And, more often than not it doesn’t end well for them. A precautionary tale, to be sure.
But here’s the thing. Occasionally, I stay to the side of the road and am taken back when someone else takes the high road and does the right thing. Oh my. It does occasionally occur. What a pleasant surprise. When someone else is the bigger person, let it sit and marinate on it. There’s always a lesson to be learned. And, a context to be deconstructed. And, there’s a time to reciprocate.