Thursday, October 27, 2016

Double Standards 161027

We silly humans seem to have a lot of double standards. 

In some cases, we feel others should do things we don't feel the need to do.  Every time my kids turn the car I am paying attention to the turn signal they did or didn't use.  That said, I know I don't use it nearly as often as I should. 

In other cases, we hold ourselves to a higher standard than the one to which we hold others.  We feel that we shouldn't make the mistakes others get a pass on.  We demand perfection from ourselves or families while good-enough is ok for other people.  Some parents absolutely require "A's" on their academic report cards. 

Watch a volleyball game.  When a player misses a pass or ball, you know that inside their heads they at least scold themselves about how they should have done something different.  Their team-mates immediately come over and encourage them in order to help them shake off that feeling.  The shorter their memory, the easier it is to recover from that error. 

Their team-mates don't hold them to the same standard as the player does themselves. 

These double standards often exist because we know what "right" looks like and for one reason or another, it wasn't achieved.  Sometimes the reasons are beyond our control.  There are antagonizing forces that produce results that are not favorable to us. 

When my football team loses, sometimes it is that they didn't show up. Other times, it is simply the credit of a really good opponent. 

I know Marine leaders that hold themselves accountable for every single loss from their units; they don't hold other Marine leaders accountable for the same losses from their respective units.  It is as if, they expected perfection from themselves but understand that someone else's unit would take combat losses.  Count on the fact that there are no Marine leaders that set out to take a loss. 

All you can do is all you can do.  If you have done all you can do, you may need to consider outside influences. 

In cases of combat, there is an enemy whose mission is to kill you and your Marines.  Sometimes gear fails or malfunctions causing fatal results. Sometimes accidents cause fatalities.  Stuff happens.

Granted, sometimes it is the fault of the leader.  Sometimes the leadership should own their failure and then get beyond it.  That said, we should hold ourselves to the same achievable standard to which we hold others.

Semper Fi,

1 comment:

Mark said...

I was thinking about this post and discussing it with a friend of mine. She reminded me that we are human beings, not human doings. Our value comes from who we are and not necessarily what we do.

This blog entry focuses a LOT on standards we hold based on what we do and not necessarily who we are. It emphasizes our judgements of value and those judgements should not be based solely on actions or accomplishments.

This whole, "placing value on who we are" concept is very foreign to a capitalist society. It is very liberating though. What freedom there is in knowing that you are invaluable.

If your child didn't perform well, would you love them less? Would they be less valuable to you if they didn't make their bed in the morning? I think you would love them regardless. You might be disappointed, but not love them any less.

Semper Fi,