Monday, May 7, 2012

Wisdom From Everett

While nursing a stress/sinus combo headache this morning, I was fortunate enough to catch my all time favorite movie: My Best Friend's Wedding. Admitedly, though I have watched the antics of Julia Roberts more times than I have fingers to count on, I don't grow tired of seeing her big moment to say "I love you" pass under that by dock. Nor do I grow weary of her dance with Dermot Mulroney when she realizes she just blew that one chance. Later, Rupert Everett delivers the single most profound line in the movie that, I believe, gets overshadowed by the chase scene. Speaking to Roberts, he states "You have a small but distinct window of opportunity to do the right thing."

Here's the cliffnotes of the movie: instead of telling her male bff that she is in love with him, Jules plays games and indirectly wrecks havoc during four days of wedding festivities. What is your "small but distinct window of opportunity"? Is it related to a family crisis, work situation or perhaps an opportunity for personal growth? We will have many "small but distinct windows of opportunity" throughout our lifetime. Are you observant enough to recognize them and motivated enough to take action? Or will you see the obvious and instead of doing the right thing, indirectly cause havoc?

Jules had to bite her pride, surpress her arrogance and admit she was wrong before she could attempt to repair the relationships she severed. In order to take advantage of our small but distinct window, we may have to bite, surpress and admit our own issues, but it's part of doing the right thing. The path to integrity is often bumpy and sometimes things happen out of our control. However, when you see that "small but distinct window of opportunity to do the right thing", don't hesitate.

In the end, Jules didn't get her man, but she did earn the respect of and a fun dance with Rupert Everett. Not a bad consolation prize, if you ask me.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

There's a popular song whose lyrics boast "I'd rather be happy than right" which implies that in marriage, compromise and picking your battles is better in the long run than being right.

There is a time and place, though, when maintaining a moral code is worth the battle. When coworkers try to legislate unethical behavior, or you are tempted to "just this once" compromise your standard, being right would be better than being happy. What is it about being moral that sometimes leads to unrest and the opposite of happiness?

When others place you in the minority because of your standards, or when you are laughed at for taking a stand, it can feel as if those standards aren't worth the battle. Consider the eight blessings (or Beatitudes) mentioned by Jesus. The last one states: Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven

You may find that your support system is weak on some days, but be courageous and take your stand anyway. Jesus says you are blessed for being persecuted for doing the right thing. That's worth at least a little smile.