An awkward and interesting moment occurred today, something that regrettably could be called a trend throughout my life. A new friend I knew online was teasing me and I responded somewhat inappropriately. Nothing emotional, or truly disturbing, just inappropriate, and afterwards both of us were like; “Well… yeah, glad that’s over.”
It started with harmless teasing, something friends do, but it escalated into me having to ‘prove’ something, something that if proven would likely have ruined my credibility in my friend’s eyes. My pride pushing me to carry through to do this thing even though it was not something I particularly wanted to do.
Afterwards I happened to mention it to my friend Ian. He said, somewhat poetically:
“Pride should not take precedence over class,
and class is but a reflection of principle,
ergo pride should not take precedence over principle.”
Well put I thought. And quite true, especially these days things like when reality TV are so prevalent which work at keeping ratings high through sensationalism. Shows like the surreal life, the first 3 episodes of American Idol, Big Brother or any show of the week watch for the most humiliating personal moments of human weakness and then make it appear as if that were the only thing that happened to the people on the show.
Now we watch these shows, but a lot of us don’t ‘like’ these shows. And certainly we don’t remember those people who were humiliating themselves before the camera. Things many people do like and remember is when an individual or organization rises above the stereotypes or their perceived limitations and shows everyone the strength of the human condition. Things that make people feel genuinely proud to be associated with that strength. Customer Service Gone Shockingly Right is a small example of this and if you haven’t read it yet I hope you do. It shows how an organisation can create something good and benefitial out of a bad situation.
Individuals who can rise above the taunts and petty desires and do something truly formidable have class, and their motivation to do so lies in their principles. So in that spirit I’m trying to take an embarrassing mistake and rise above it to hopefully write something meaningful.
Whether I've actually achieved this or not is for you to decide.