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  • Writer's pictureDavid Brady

Responding To Others During A Time Of Stress

Recently I was asked how to respond when dealing with others and they're selfish grasps at control. I decided to answer with a story that affected me years ago. The year was 2003 and I was acting as a single parent while my wife took an assignment to the Middle East. I received a call at work from the woman who watched my daughter after school until I got home. The babysitter told me that my daughter had come home from school sick and needed to see a doctor, she said it was probably just the flu but it best to be safe. I told her I would leave right away and would see her in a few minutes. After putting down the phone I walked down the hall to my boss at the time, the owner's new son in law and told him I needed to leave that I had an emergency with my daughter.

He responded with "why can't your wife handle this" I reminded him my wife was deployed to the Middle East and I needed to take care of this myself and I would see him tomorrow. I then told him if he wanted to discuss it more we could do it then, that's when he put his hand on my shoulder and said "you need to reevaluate your priorities" I told him my priorities are in the right place I will see you tomorrow. Now I wish I could tell you I didn't think about it any further but I did, it bothered me all evening but I knew I was doing the right thing taking care of my little girl. So why was I letting a fool own my mind? Well, I didn't have the tools I have today to deal with my negative thoughts, but I did have the courage of my convictions and that told me to do what I did but not how to eliminate the negative impact he had on my mind.

"I did have the courage of my convictions and that told me to do what I did but not how to eliminate the negative impact he had on my mind. "

Today I would have done it just as I had, an explanation of the facts and let him say what he wanted and it having no effect on me. How you may say? You can't waste your time giving any thought to stupidity or selfishness.  We will continue to run into self-involved selfish people with poor behavior.  We should not mirror those we meet that do not align with our core values. Let's pause, and take a minute to realize how we are perceived and if our behavior is aligned with our values.  Self-awareness is key.  So my advice was this, you are a wonderful person, we all are, and appreciate this moment as a learning one.   I am sure you have heard the story of the wondering Monk and the King, it goes like this a monk is traveling on pilgrimage and comes across a kingdom and is told the king has need of him and would like to speak to him.

So the Monk visits with the king in his palace. The king says I need your counsel my son the prince is lazy and I can't see passing him the kingdom for he is not able to handle the demands. We are also plagued by a famine in the kingdom and my advisors are feckless and give me no good counsel. The Monk looked him in the eye and said fear not good King this will pass. 10 years later the same Monk was passing through the same kingdom on his way back from his pilgrimage and was asked again to meet with the king, upon meeting the king in his palace he was showered with praise. The King was so happy his son had turned around and grew into an excellent prince and was ready to take over for the King when the time was ready. The famine had passed and the kingdom was overflowing with food snd his advisors had developed to become an excellent council. The Monk looked the King in the eye and said don't worry this too will pass. No matter how hard things may appear at the moment give yourself some time to reflect before you decide how you want to internalize this new development, after all, it’s your mind, not anyone else 

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