When nothing is the right choice
When you feel like there is no good choice; when nothing feels right; take a moment to think: maybe nothing is right, that is, that's exactly what you should choose to do -- nothing. Let me explain.
This week, I saw a political post on a friend's social media page with which I profoundly disagreed. My immediate temptation was to post on her page -- which had already received some enthusiastic support in the form of "Yeah!" GIFs and "You're so right!" comments from like-minded friends -- a reasoned (I am always reasonable, aren't I?) point by point refutation of her erroneous observation (because clearly she was wrong and I was right and it was my need to let her know and I could even help educate her friends). And then I took a pause and thought about it. And I realized that the better option for me -- and maybe or maybe not for her and even her friends; how would I really know? -- was to do nothing.
So that's what I did. And the moment passed. I chose wisely.
As long as I've known this friend, I knew our politics were different. And while we don't know each other well or socialize, we're in a group together that's been meeting monthly for years. But my experience of her is that she's a wonderful person, an abiding and committed steward of the earth, a deeply loving member of her family, a wise and well-regarded practitioner of her services and so much more, and she has always been nothing but kind and friendly to me. Can I live with the 90 percent and let the 10 percent go? Of course I can.
Sometimes, nothing is the right choice. By which I mean, of course -- clever word play aside -- choosing not to respond is better than responding in a state of anger, or self-righteousness, or frustration, or superiority. Sometimes, the better thing to do is to do nothing at all. Let it go. Let it pass.
Ask yourself who are you serving with a defensive, corrective answer? How are you communicating -- through what channels; in person, social media, email? The last two are the worst because there's no body language or tone of voice, which make up 93 percent of communication. Only 7 percent of messaging is conveyed by your words. What is your real aim and is this the most effective way to accomplish that? Is this about me or about someone or something else?
Clearly, there are times when there is an answer. Some answer. Some thing to do or say. But just consider that there are also times, here and there, when nothing is the right choice. Then, choose to do nothing. And let it go. Move on.