Thursday, March 20, 2008

Self Mastery

Over the past several days I've seen two soldiers break down in tears at the stress. NCOs and officers alike have been on edge. Contention is thick. It's a terrible feeling to live and work in such a whirlwind of negativity and abuse. I can empathize even more with those who've been in abusive relationships.

Over the past year I've seen others carry heavy burdens. I feel the weight on my shoulders as well. I've seen grown men cry and I've seen them out of control with rage and anger. A few days ago an officer choked an NCO. It took five people to pull him off. Tempers flare, voices are raised, terrible words are flung. Egos are too often unchecked, and authority is abused. Too often we fight amongst ourselves. I've worked in a team handling tense situations before, and it shouldn't be this way. Some people need to be fired...or voted off the island.

Soldiers have come to me with serious personal and professional issues. I am not in their chain of command, but they said they trust my judgment. It's important to be fair and approachable. I've tried to do all I can to help their individual plight and offer advice and comfort. It's important that we bite our tongues, speak calmly and do no harm to others. The rights of others must never be abused.

Undoubtedly we will experience negative feelings from time to time, but it is imperative that we suppress them, or use them to our advantage to help us learn from them. When ill feelings and temptations go unchecked, people get hurt and everyone ends up losing.

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