That’s Enough For Me

Liz Sumner Courage Leave a Comment

A client recently told me a story that’s been reverberating in my brain. She was in a team with a quiet man. She perceived him as sensitive and wise so let’s call him Solomon. Another team member was very exuberant and perhaps a little full of herself. She had lots of opinions about how the quiet man should be and she shared them with him, rapid fire, without stopping to see how they landed.

After awhile Solomon said, with respect and compassion, “Thanks very much, but that’s enough for me.” He wasn’t defensive or dismissive. His bearing had the effect of ending the barrage of advice without judgment. He just said that’s enough.

I think this is breath-taking.

In the same week I heard about another incident. This time a friend was at a dinner with family. She was tired from an intense period at work. One of the family members at the table with a reputation for being irritating, (let’s call her Sandy), wanted my friend to agree to her terms on a complex matter. There was no reason to come to a decision right then and there but Sandy wanted to discuss it. My friend asked politely to drop it for now because she wanted a break from her stressful week, but Sandy wouldn’t let it go. My friend finally got up from the table and went to stay in a hotel to get some peace.

I’ve been thinking about that scene and what I might have done under the circumstances. I’m very uncomfortable around angry people and avoid confrontation as much as possible. But I’m intrigued with the idea of tapping into an inner sense of compassion and saying, “that’s enough for me.” Could I find that place where my calm self worth would feel like protection from the onslaught? What an aspiration that would be!

As I imagine speaking up to object to brutality or injustice, that’s what I want to feel. That’s where courage comes from.

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