Covid-19 has made me look more inward and I have found things I want to nourish and one specific thing that I no longer want to nourish: namely, my sense of justice. It is huge and powerful, and when it really has hold of me, I can nearly have the endurance of a commando.
I have previously written an article about the advice I would have given myself as a newly appointed manager, in which I mentioned remembering to ensure your own self-management. Today I understand that my need to ensure justice, both large and small, has too often resulted in a lack of self-management, because justice always came first.
Most often, I didn’t have the patience to wait for others to intervene. Often others would not have intervened, to my disappointment, especially when the complaint was clear.
The power of forgiveness
I have spent the last couple of years forgiving, but mostly forgiving myself for not having forgiven anything sooner and not having shown more confidence that we as part of something larger will be taken care of. It’s my belief based on the experience I’ve gained by taking a step or two back with regard to action, speed and proactivity.
Most often, time solves a lot. Often, the process, when given time, gives the people who are the focal point of good and bad the opportunity to learn and grow. This creates fewer scapegoats and more win-win outcomes.
Stand up for what you want instead of fighting what you don´t want
Today, I see many managers who have become tired, both physical and mentally. They have fought; they’ve been fighting for a long time. They have fought against what they wanted to change, rather than channeling energy into what they want, thus only nourishing what they wanted to change and undernourishing what they wanted. The process became sluggishness and energy dwindled. At the same time, this made the need for change less apparent going forward, and then all the good efforts ended up completely wasted.
It has therefore become clear to me that the values of justice I have grown up with are not always linked to high integrity in relation to oneself, and the development and direction one is ready to show as a manager. The consequence may be that you slowly lose yourself because you stop managing yourself.
I have seen the unjust price of justice. I experienced it myself in my 30s, especially as a newly appointed manager.
Today, I see it primarily reflected in newly appointed managers around me, who dig in, instead of letting go, fight against rather than fight for, lose confidence and go from being a bright guiding star for their employees to being as subdued as an energy-saving bulb that is difficult to distinguish from the others around.
These young managers are inspired by their seniors who have been struggling for a long time, but they have the opportunity to form completely different habits and approaches.
The need for healing and belongingness
If we look inside and outside, at this time there is a tendency to retaliate, expose and sanction. This trend feeds polarizing national and global energy that is destructive to the community and keeps us in a negative spiral. It doesn’t make us better people with healthier habits. It doesn’t heal or deliver us. The only thing that gets short-term nourishment is the ego and fragmented mind in a society where we have been given a unique opportunity to learn to stand together.
The morale in the film “Riders of Justice” shows us that the price of justice is not worth it.
By choosing to close our hearts and quench our thirst for revenge and retaliation, rather than opening to self-care, forgiveness and care for each other, we become even more alien to each other than we were.
Happiness means letting go, forgiving and leaning into the forces that always find their way and at the pace that will accommodate much more that needs to be taken into account along the way than we can see with our naked eyes and the “justice” they design.
In a world where community is more important than ever, where the feeling of belonging is more important than ever, the consequences of not forgiving and holding grudges with each other, of pigeonholing, isolating and excluding, have become greater than ever before, and therefore the unjust price of justice is far too high in 2021.
Founder of the Global Voices project. Belongingness officer and an experienced People Executive.