May 21, 2017

5. Sometimes we’re an ally and sometimes we’re the bad guy

We are all the bad guy in someone’s story.

This is a really difficult concept for a lot of people to grasp…

In our society we are socialized to see mistakes as “weakness,” rather than part of a larger learning process. Think about it, admitting fault even has severe legal consequences. This misconception trains people to avoid looking at or taking responsibility for their words, actions and intentions. For many people, admitting they were wrong also comes with a crippling amount of shame and guilt. This is sad and unfortunate, because these are moments where we really should have the most patience for ourselves. 

I don’t think many people set out intending to be the bad guy. I think it happens gradually over time. It happens every time we prioritize our comfort over someone else’s humanity. Being an ally means getting out of our comfort zone.

Of course, being an ally, also means having one. For every time I’ve been frustrated by being called out or embarrassed from sticking my foot in my mouth, I’ve also been supported, encouraged, empowered and shown immense compassion when I’ve needed it the most.

Some things that I reflected on when writing this episode:

  • What is my biggest fear about being wrong?
  • What would do I expect other people to do when they’re wrong?
  • What do I do when I’m wrong?
  • What do I need to feel safe enough to admit I was wrong?

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