More often than not, when I have a problem and need to make a decision, I ask other people what they would do if they were in my shoes. Then I decide whether to follow their advice or … ask someone else!
I’ve always thought of this as due diligence, but if I’m honest with myself, the real reason I ask for input is NOT so that I can weigh all my options judiciously like King Solomon; it’s just that I can’t be bothered to decide for myself. It’s easier to ask someone else. In other words, I’ve been lazy.
This got me thinking. What if I were a country? How would I manage my affairs?
If I were a country…
I’d take responsibility.
There would be no choice but for me to seek my own solutions. Other countries are too busy to spend their precious resources solving my problems. They are (understandably) going to focus on solutions that serve their needs, not mine. Besides, no two countries have exactly the same challenges, given their different combinations of geography, climate, population, language, culture, economy, history and sociopolitical landscape.
I’d have self-respect
Since I would know I am my own highest authority. Other countries’ opinions would hardly matter if my inhabitants were in real trouble. I would figure out what was wrong and work toward solutions, utilizing all my native resources with the understanding that ultimately I answer to only myself, my values and my vision.
I’d have integrity
I would never seek out war, but neither would I shy away from conflict if the well-being of my people were at stake; I would protect myself from invasion and exploitation at any cost.
My hope is that the metaphor of a country will help me remember my responsibility to myself. That it will remind me to respect my own authority. And that it will give me the strength to be firm with others instead of nicey-nice, when need be.
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