Facing a moral dilemma at work and feeling as if I'm trapped in a Joseph Heller novel, I've been asking as many friends, family and coworkers as I can whether I should stick to my integrity, speak my mind and possibly sabotage my career, or if I should simply kowtow to authority. Bite my lip until I bleed the status quo. I don't know if my greatest disappointment with the situation comes from everyone telling me what I don't want to hear, or from the same rationalization they've all been giving me: no matter what job you have, you'll always have to just put up with a certain amount of injustices and absurdities by your superiors because...well, they're your superiors. As difficult as this has been to swallow, I do understand it. But it has gotten me asking what if...?
Firstly, what if we didn't have to work at places and in situations in which we were forced to swallow our pride in order to keep (or advance in) our jobs? But that might be a point where the thin line between "what if...?" and fantasy blurs. However, after speaking with my wife over this dilemma, a new perspective and "what if...?" was reached. Her point, rather than the simple "that's just the way it is," was that my greater responsibility in this situation wasn't solely to myself and my personal pride, but to my family and our long term wellbeing (a lesson Ned Stark learned the hard way). Having grown up believing nothing was worth sacrificing my personal pride for, this thought presented a new, personal challenge. After all, for what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? But what if one's soul were malleable, transferable and shareable? What if, in order to stay true to one's self, one need also be capable of behaving contrary to one's own principles, yet in the interest of others those same principles most affect?
What if we could all live beyond the concepts and confines of our individual ideals and bit our tongues more often in the name of just "putting up with 'it'" together rather than suffering "it" alone?