Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Everyone is Valuable, Right?

Why why why why why why why is this so difficult for me to grasp?

Our class speaker for graduation was Major General Luis R. Visot and he emphasized the importance of respecting everyone, or how everyone contributes.  This Army is a team effort, so on and so forth...

Yet I am consumed from the inside out with contempt for some people!  Even when I see the good they contribute, could acknowledge it, label it, commend it (succinctly), and praise it (reluctantly), I still find a fireball of dislike for those individuals.  Even if I can keep my mouth shut around them, I still find them slinky, annoying, cloying, lying, cowardly, unintelligent, and overall defunct and lacking.  I find it difficult to believe the Army has any trouble at all finding people to label as below center of mass, needs vast improvement... one might even say immeasurable improvement impossible to achieve before the next promotion.

Okay... deep breath.
So... in spite of this tirade against any and all disgusting, miserable carcasses filling uniforms (and filling them quite tightly if you know what I mean *cough cough, tape test*) ... I recognize this sort of intolerance and short temper does nothing to help myself or the Army.

Now I want to be clear I have nothing against the large boned or slow learning.  What I do have an issue with are people who are so wrapped up in their cowardice and low self esteem that they do more harm than good to an organization overall.  If you have the moral courage to improve yourself than I respect and admire you.  I have in my heart an overall good intent.  I do not wish to sabotage or attack people who are working hard to achieve goals.  I want myself to be kinder, run more, be stronger, think faster, speak more languages more fluently, lead better, and be more at peace with myself and the world... but I expect the same drive and motivation from others even if it's in different measures.

I find peers who are too scared to say anything the worst of all.  It is easy to tell a subordinate to fix something; I would go a step further and say it is your job.  It is difficult to tell a supervisor to fix minor things, but there are clearly outlined methods of dealing with more weighty problems.  It is a very difficult thing to deal with a peer, and it is very obvious if you are afraid of a peer.  Suffice to say, during the 12 weeks at TBOLC, I dealt with and saw a very sorry individual for whom I have very little respect left.  Not only did they assault my ears with the pitch of their complaints at every single turn, not only did they fail time and time again when pressure was on, but they managed to do so while convincing themselves that they had personal courage!  The personal courage to get into a fight with someone that everyone liked and respected and who certainly shouldn't have had to waste two seconds of time on a spineless prat like this individual (and no, not me, I burned a nice handful of bridges).  The reason I am writing anything at all about this person is because I believe that they have the best chance of progression of the few people I had very low respect for.  The others were self-sabotaging or had so little ambition as to make them harmless to the organization overall.  This person that I am talking about has done three things:  be horrible and hopeless at any real charisma or leadership, be in utter and total denial of the problems in the way of them improving his or herself, and finally (and possibly most importantly to being included here) has managed to personally get involved in my affairs in a somewhat distant and unrelated manner.  I can tolerate - in a gritted teeth won't write about it sort of way - many things... but for certain trespasses there is no other recourse than for me to swear constant vigilance if ever an opportunity to reduce this person's toxic influence comes my way.  I wouldn't go out of my way to do anything, it's just not worth any effort on my part... but I will remember the character of this sort of person and it will play a part into any decisions made in the future that may regard said individual.

With all the nudge-nudge, head-pointing, cough-coughing suggestion of the above post, I believe I can rest a little easier.  Sure physical fighting would be a much more satisfying outlet, but the person I am thinking of recoils so easily from a verbal confrontation, I know they would most likely faint at the suggestion of a quick 2-minute wrestling brawl.

Back to MG Visot's suggestion... seeing the good in everyone.  Is it possible?  Yes, I suppose I could wrap up this post that the aforementioned individual was adequate at physical fitness, and that they probably won't commit any war crime wittingly... so it is a start to being a decent human being.  I could admit that they gave me endless possible use to my sarcastic attacks, which has been both amusing and a good exercise for when I need a quick prod or poke for anyone of a similar nature who I meet down the line.  They have also given me a taste of how much I will need to bite my tongue when the feelings of disdain rise up to the levels they have in the past 12 weeks.  So, it wasn't a total loss.

There were a lot of good people in my class.  A majority of them were good Soldiers.  A majority of them that I didn't get along with were good leaders.  They will take care of their own Soldiers and uphold the main tenants of the Warrior Ethos.  I know this blog could have focused on that instead, and for that I'll make a mental note that I feel better as a person when I focus on the good.  I really do hope that the people who worry me when it comes to taking care of Soldiers will get mentored.  I also genuinely hope if they cannot be mentored they will be sifted out of the Army.  I have a lot of respect for the institution overall.  I only wish it were fully integrated when it came to gender.

Hopefully my next post will be a slight bit nicer.  But then again, my blog is about sadness, anger, or determined hope.  I know the other feelings don't necessarily help me, but I cannot help how much they flow into my life.  I can only try to exorcise the influence they have on my treatment of other people.  I hope that I can treat people - all people - more kindly in the future because then I might suffer less from people who don't know how to deal with aggression and sarcasm.  In spite of my own sharp tongue being a double-edged sword, I am at least secure in my ability to be insulted, pushed around, and aggressively challenged and still move forward.  I am not someone who has tried to surround myself in sickeningly sweet marshmallow padding and then laughs too loudly at mere comments and jokes that break my heart and self confidence.  I am strong, but I need to learn how to relate to more people.  I need to learn sympathy, kindness, and mercy.  I am certain I need to learn forgiveness as well... but it's a lesson I am too proud to approach at the moment.

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