True Life: Actions Have Consequences.

“For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”

We’re all pretty familiar with that phrase, other natural laws of order (at present) are that you will be judged. What you’re judged on and who’s doing the judging are always emotional questions, but I put forth that one should be judged on their actions. A radical idea, apparently.

There’s a world out there, some may say it’s harsh, others cruel, others full of wonder and surprise and buttercups – to each their own, however the bottom line is that if you want to live in the real world (within this country at least, I can’t yet speak for other countries) you’re going to have to get used to certain things and one of them is that if you want to be a professional, then you have to expect that you will be held to a professional standard. Don’t like it? Don’t take the job. Everything you do daily while you’re being a professional has the right to come under scrutiny and judgement: it’s called your reputation.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a Janitor, a President of an organization, or the country for that matter. You will be judged on your actions by people higher than you and people lower than you.

Just because you’re nice doesn’t mean you’re qualified to hold a position and contra-positively, just because you’re not nice doesn’t mean that you’re unqualified to hold a position.

Harsh reality I know.

Not everyone is going to be a rocket scientist, and that’s okay as long as their living is honest. You can give out all the lollipops, high fives and pats on the back you want and have an award winning smile…but if you don’t have your M.D. you’re not going to be hired as a doctor. Likewise, you can be the most horrible man on Earth, have your M.D. and still be the world’s greatest surgeon.

Whether you’re a nice person or not, is not what you use to qualify someone for a position. You use that as the determining factor between people who have an equal set of skills and experience, sometimes being nice works for them and and sometimes being nice works against them.

Are there exceptions to this rule? I’m sure there might be, so we’ll leave room for them.

If someone determines, through your actions, as a constituent who you are supposed to represent, that you are not qualified or have made serious errors in judgement, and wishes to bring that question up for scrutiny by those who are in charge of said representative (as anyone who is an academic – and for that matter a patriot – should do: question authority) a defense of that person’s qualifications should not be “but he’s nice and cool!”

That’s wonderful, and of course open for interpretation but moreover, it doesn’t actually address the issue.

If you don’t like what someone says about your actions, then refute them with logic and evidence (“I understand why you perceived something this way, however, in reality this is why this happened and here’s proof”) or take responsibility for your mistakes (no one is perfect, we all fuck up – myself, possibly more than most) people look up to those who apologize for their mistakes and transgressions, it is seen as being honorable and humble. It is not seen as being weak.

Likewise, do not respond emotionally to an attack on your actions and/or behavior. An attack on someone’s actions is not a personal attack; there is (while sometimes hard to discern) a difference.

My Mother gave me some of the best advice I’ve ever received

“you will forever be judged on two things, your actions and on the company you keep.”

You have a professional reputation (qualifications, bad or good work, previous clients, professional associations), a public reputation (civic work, keeping your lawn clean or dirty, volunteerism), and a private reputation (good in bed, bad in bed, faithful lover, cheater, etc.).

To take on a job and assume that you will not be called to account to both your superiors and your constituents is naive. Granted, there are absolutely certain things that will remain between you and God for which he gets to judge you, there are, however, also things that you will be called to account for by those who hire you and those whom you serve and they have a right to call you to account: it’s called real life and being responsible to both the one’s who pay your salary and to those who you are supposed to work for and represent.

Judge not lest ye be judged? Go ahead, judge me.

True Life: Actions Have Consequences