I was listening to the radio recently and heard about “NIMBY” = “not in my back yard”. Evidently this is the scenario where you won't allow things to happen in your neighbourhood even though they benefit the community at large. It's the whole argument of self-interest versus the greater good.
We all encounter situations where we’re tempted to turn a blind eye, especially if there’s a chance we may come off worse if we step up. We hope it will just go away and things will return to the way they were. Or perhaps we feel strongly about something, but know that if we speak up or take action, we may risk being unpopular in our neighbourhood.
We need to remind ourselves that if changes happen that might be out of our control, it’s largely up to us how we respond. In challenging circumstances, some of our deeper fears and prejudices may surface. Will you react negatively, or take the opportunity to learn and grow? Is this an opportunity to show leadership on a particular issue that is unpopular, but will benefit you in ways that extend beyond the immediate time and place.
Balancing the scales
It’s also important to have a balanced approach to life. We can get carried away at times and throw ourselves into a cause without thinking about our own well being, or the effect it may have on our family. It’s a good idea to talk things through with the people we really trust before jumping into something feet first.
It’s not always easy to accept personal discomfort or put personal gain aside. But if it was for something that could help create a better world for our children and grandkids, it would surely be worth it.
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