Complying & Complicity

I went to dinner chez some dear friends the other night. When asked what he'd been up to lately, my host described his new ventures, which were politically based. And this of course got us all talking about politics. We didn't slide down that slope for too long, as we all were pretty much going to vomit up the same disgust with our current political climate. But in that conversation, my host quoted someone near and dear to him (and the world, for that matter) and the gist of this quote was "there's a fine line between complying and complicity". This kind of blew my mind away while sitting in their living room, and has continued to do so.

While the original quote was regarding politics, I see it applies to so much more as well. A toxic relationship, bad work environment, shitty behavior from friends or family...just about anything, really. When there's a need/opportunity to speak up/stand up and defend yourself or remove yourself from a situation, I see this "C&C" phrase defined - "I am not complicit, I will not comply with 'xyz' or you". Silence can be wise and impactful and mature. I worry though that it can also be misunderstood and dangerous. 

My response to a few recent episodes of bad behavior has been silence. I have low tolerance for this shit so it's usually always best that I try to remain quiet. At least for a while. Plus, it's also in my nature. Create quiet and distance. Is my silence here compliance? For me, no.

Honestly, I sometimes get stunned into silence because I can't believe the rudeness. And from "friends" or "adults" to boot (not that it's ok coming from strangers or youngsters). Deep down I'd like to think people know better (or should) and eventually I will chalk it up to stressors in their lives. Not taking things (certain things) personally is a really, really important lesson to learn. Still working on that lesson. Forever the student.

BUT...it is NOT ok to be silent (complying) with certain specific behavior - as I do think THAT can breed and project a sense of complicity. Perfect example of this are the atrocious stories of harassment and violation towards women by men circulating now. Then came #metoo and we realize this is everywhere. So disheartening. Obviously silence here has done some serious damage. Comply with certain standards/behavior/attitude and you are being complicit with that fucker's standards/behavior/attitude. How will he or she stop if there's no fight? How will things change for the next person if there's no voice? This has definitely been brought into focus as of late.

Now...will the rude/selfish/unrealistic person ever change on their own if there's no voice calling out the behavior? Probably not. I don't always have the desire, or patience, to get into it immediately. "It" being just the "menial" bad behavior. Not talking harassment or physical violation. That's different. A whole other level of different. I may need time because I can be working through anger. Or hurt, as well. If the relationship is meant to continue, a connection will eventually be made again. The key for me is how the relationship moves forward. Can't tolerate repetitive madness. That's insanity, non? Look people, just do a mini mea culpa here. A six-pound, 7oz. baby mea. No deflection or excuses. It's called taking responsibility. It's called respect.

It works...Usually always.

Until next time...

xj