Monday, August 19, 2013

NOPE! It’s not okay: The power of justification.

I work in a field filled with people trying to get things done and achieve their goals…or in some cases, trying to beat the system and blend in with the people that are achieving, in the hopes that they can be mistaken for an achiever.

I blame television. Every single medical drama on TV is fraught with doctors telling patients “It’s okay.” and “Everything’s going to be alright.”. Two scenes later, the kid who was merely on a road trip with his friends to bring relief to a part of the country that was just wracked with tornadoes or a biblical flood, and was then hit by a trucker that’s been up for three days in an effort to make a delivery on time before the produce he’s carrying spoils, dies on the operating table…Hey, guess what? Everything's not going to be alright...and all for the love of salad.

Here’s the message, saying “It’s okay.” When it’s clearly not ok, is uttered to convince oneself. I met someone today who knows that what he’s doing is stealing. Stealing opportunities and stealing money by basically cheating the system. Imagine a mugger who’s stealing your purse and telling you the whole time “It’s okay. I deserve it. It’s okay. I need it more than you.”
Is it okay?
Is it?
I understand that any system is flawed in some way. We’re human beings, flaw is in our nature. It’s when you know that what you’re doing is wrong and you justify it. Part of being a grown up is owning your mistakes. If you own it, then it has no more power over you. It’s a very uncomfortable lesson, and “It’s okay.” is much easier to talk your way through.
“It’s okay. They owe it to me, look at what I’ve been through.”
“It’s okay, look how much of my time, effort, and work they get out of me.”
“It’s okay, look at what he/she put me through.”
“It’s okay, look at how she’s dressed.”

See? That’s where we are. When you say “It’s okay.”, that’s when you have to take a step back, because you know it isn’t.” It’s not okay to take advantage.
You know better.
You know you know better, and you’re trying to make it alright with yourself.
You say “It’s okay.” for no one’s benefit but your own. Let me just tell you, no matter how you justify it, no matter how much you play it off like it doesn’t bother you, no matter much you say “It doesn’t matter.”, it does. And you know it does. Eventually you will have to answer for it. There’s no way of getting around it. Once you’ve done it…and I’m in this boat too. Your conscience will hold you accountable. 

Don't lie to your conscience like a medical drama. The produce isn't worth it. 

It’s not okay.

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