The Enemy is Outside

by cin on April 16, 2010

Normally, I consider things like mission statements and mottos to be pretty corny, mostly because they’re often trite little sayings used in the absence of any real ability to lead or inspire others.  But enough about my experience with Corporate America. 😉

Early in our relationship, The Best Man and I came up with a saying that established a fundamental ground rule for us:

The enemy is outside.

What does this mean?  Well, lots of things.

First, it means that our home is our sanctuary. It’s the place we find peace and acceptance rather than conflict and criticism. If you’ve ever lived in a place where you dreaded walking in the door, you can appreciate how precious this is.

It also means that we have agreed not to make the other person the target of our frustrations. How often do people suppress their anger at their boss only go to home and vent this misplaced anger at their partner?  Why do people do this?  Well, if they did it to the boss, they could get fired.  So instead they do it to the person who loves them most because that person will forgive them. Does this make any sense? We didn’t think so.

And it means that we acknowledge the basic goodness of the other person and don’t jump to the conclusion that they’re working against us.  In other words, forgetting to take out the trash isn’t an evil plot purposely designed to ruin your day.  Having once been accused – not kidding here – of harboring deep-seated hatred, intentional disregard, and a secret desire to sabotage someone because I had a feverish child in the car and forgot to pick up the dry cleaning, can I just say this is a huge relief?

Finally, it means somebody always has your back. Whatever happens, we are in this together, playing on the same team. And like in the NBA, assists count.

P.S.  Oh, and if you share my distaste for what passes for inspiration in Corporate America, you might like the satire of the Demotivator posters and other things offered on this site.  These folks crack me up.


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