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March 30, 2012

Because You Can Doesn't Mean It’s Okay

IStock_00harrassmentallBecause your employees don't say anything when you grope them--doesn't mean your groping isn't sexual assault.   Your blatant disregard for another person’s body is a tragic abuse of power.

Because you can have an affair and not get caught—doesn’t make having an affair okay. Your affair harms your partner’s soul.

Because your partner is too afraid to leave you -- doesn’t mean it’s okay to treat them with contempt.  Your entitlement is cold and out of line.

Because your wife stays out of desperation, while you continue to cheat -- doesn’t mean your selfishness is okay.  Your cheating is burning your house down.

Because so many other people are “doing it”—doesn’t mean it’s okay to do it.

Because, out of fear, people don’t set limits on your rage -- doesn’t mean you have the right to bully.  Your rage is abusive.

Because you can get away with being mean, critical and controlling—doesn’t mean it’s okay to be mean and controlling.  Your control tells those around you that they’re not enough.

Because others cower to your anger and intimidation—doesn’t make it okay that you instill fear.  Your intimidation breaks relationships and breeds another generation of bullies.

Because your husband is afraid of your outbursts—doesn’t make it okay that you act out of control.  Your reactivity keeps those around you walking on eggshells.

Because your children think you can do no wrong—doesn’t make it okay to act as though you are God.  Your grandiosity shows your children they don’t matter.

Because there’s a saying that “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”—doesn’t mean that what goes on behind closed doors doesn’t hurt.  Your “free pass” is a false justification that will take its toll on your family and your life.

Too many human beings are behaving in less than humane ways.  We hurt, intimidate, cheat, lie and on and on without taking the time to truly look at the damage these behaviors cause—not only to those around us, but to ourselves, as well.  When we are out of integrity, it impacts our world and us.  Just because we got away with something doesn’t make it okay that we did it.  Just because your spouse never found out about your affair—doesn’t mean it was a harmless act. 

We are what we do...and what we do impacts and influences us.  The more we act without integrity, the more we begin to see ourselves as having no integrity.  Soon it becomes easier and easier to do things we never thought we would do.  Soon we begin to surround ourselves with unprincipled people so we don’t feel so bad...or out of place.  These new people behave without integrity and we, as a group, pull one another down and then condone it so we all feel better. 

Don’t fool yourself.  You are what you do—regardless of how you rationalize, justify or explain it.  If you lie—you’re untrustworthy.  If you cheat—you harm.  If you rage—you instill fear.  The behavior, responses or actions of others do not alter this equation.  Figure out who you want to be in this world and then step behind that vision.  Stop thinking that if others agree, stay silent or simply never find out, your actions are okay.  Deep down you know better than that…we all do.

Challenge: Look at the excuses you make for in-excusable behaviors.  Stop excusing them and start mending them.  Refuse to give yourself the green light to behave out of integrity.  It doesn’t matter whether or not everyone else is doing those behaviors.  If they’re hurtful, stop doing them.  Take the high road and stop excusing poor behavior.



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I have learned that behaviors such as anger (which were more about my own inadequacy than my displeasure with others) were just as damaging as if I had simply hated those around me. My motives for anger were far more made no difference to those exposed to it. I though understanding what they were about would make the people around me "understand" but it can never erase the slight discomfort of not knowing when I might erupt again. Some of these hurts can never be erased or be forgiven. Too late wise - Michael in MI

Very well said...

I agree with this and relate to it as well- I have always said everything you do affects someone, so be careful in what you say or do, someone is watching be it friend, son, daughter,or whomever. I left an employer for the very reason you have stated. I should have reported him, but as is often done, unless someone sees it, most do not believe it happened.. Then you have their family, his wife, his kids, they will not go against their father or the wife against her husband in favor of an employee. They feel their husband or dad would NOT do such a thing. As crazy as it sounds, I read an article from a well known advice columnist, who when the wife wrote that after her husbands death she found love letters to his mistress and the affair had been on going.She was hurt and upset and was asking if she should let his kids know what she found out,his children were grown and the columnist advise was NOT, to let them know, if would serve NO purpose. I disagree with this. HOW many other women had he slept with, or possibly had a child with. Why on earth continue to hide it. When and IF found out and secrets do come out in time, the kids Will want to know Why MOM did not tell them, especially if the husband did father another child with another women- I believe her advice was Wrong on so many levels. To advice someone to keep lies, cheating,affairs, or misconduct a secret is Why so many children do not report sexual abuse, or abuse of any kind. Fear of not being believed, or causing trouble within the family.This was just crazy advice from this well know columnist.

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