Street Smarts 101
I have lived in New York City for twenty years. In that time, I have been exposed to the most wonderful things this city has to offer. Unfortunately, I have also been exposed to the not-so wonderful things. I was reminded of this fact last week over a conversation with my friend Jean, who asked me what I thought she should do about a situation at work she knew was corrupt and had to get out of. However, even though she took herself out of that environment, it still concerned Jean, because she knew it was greatly affecting others from a life and death standpoint.
If you have read past blogs of mine, I think you know I am in a big believer in the fact that each person can and does make a difference in this world. Fortunately, this is easy to see on TV and in the media. For example, take people like professional football player JJ Watt, who received the Walter Payton Man of the Year award recently for making a difference in countless people’s lives in Texas after they were slammed with Hurricane Harvey. He raised $37 million dollars for his relief fund. After deciding he was going to figure out how to help his fellow Texans, he delivered more than even he himself could have imagined. He has a true spirit of giving back within him that started as early as college when he began a charity with no money and has continued to build on giving back even after his career took off.
While this is an outstanding example of the power of the human spirit and how it just takes a single person, one also has to recognize that a celebrity like JJ Watt has resources that many of us do not have to support a cause. We all don’t have the microphone he has, so with that, I do believe we all have to be prudent in which circumstances we choose to make a difference in. In this predicament that I was discussing with my friend Jean, when something by principal is wrong, which I have seen many times during my 20 years, it fires me up. Her particular situation, understandably fired her up too. It is something she had never witnessed before. What can I do about it? What can she do about it? Is it her alone, or my responsibility alone, to try and change it? Doesn’t it take just one person?
I believe it is really one’s responsibility to make a positive change when and where they can in the world. All it takes is one spark. But, even that little spark needs help to grow into a fire that can really make a change. We have seen so many examples of this in recent news to help the movement for women in the workplace. That wasn’t one person; it was many. But it took one with the desire for change to call on others.
So, if you can produce a tribe to create change and have the resources to protect and support you, do it. It is when you stand on your own that you need to be more cautious. Was this “thing” that you want to expose directly done to you? Is it something that is only affecting others and you have observed it? If it is something that is being done directly to you, it will have a different set of “rules” to sort out. But, if it is something that you know someone or some group is doing wrong or corrupt that harms others, this is where you need to step back, get yourself out of the corruption and really evaluate the situation. Don’t react impulsively- use some street smarts. My answer to this question was this:
I would first ask, who do I know that I can speak with that might have the ability to help improve the situation or expose it? I would get their advice. That might be the simple answer and you can know you did your duty. Pass the information along to someone who has the resources to take on the issue effectively.
Second, if stepping out with this information is going to threaten your personal safety or make you look over your shoulder out of fear, it’s not worth it. You were in a place of bad energy that was dishonest and wrong and you removed yourself from it and found a place that was better. Don’t let them control you again and go back and try to fight them. Walk away and move on and eventually the answer of how you can fight back safely will come to you. This is when you must be methodical and practice patience. In other words, the universe will work out the corrupt- it can take months, years, and lifetimes, but bad energy and corruption will always eventually be exposed.
In the meantime, focus on what you can give back in a positive way and let perhaps the people in society that have the resources to fight a battle without compromising their safety fight that initial nasty battle. And there will be someone who can do this. So, trust in the large picture of energy. Trust that you can and are calling a spade and spade and moving on to a better place where you have learned and will give back more than those people are taking away. This can be done in little everyday acts and it does not need to be done so that you compromise your personal freedom. If you do this, you are letting the corruption control you and your life. Even though you think you are fighting the hard fight, they will ultimately be the ones in control. Be smarter because you are smarter. More importantly, it serves as a reminder to stand your ground, but standing your ground does not mean compromising your well-being in order to win the battle of corruption in this world. Good prevails, it always will. Believe it.