I’ve always had problems with opportunists. I’ve known this all my life. Situations where one person is taking advantage of another jangle my nerves in inexplicable ways and cause me a great deal of stress. Strangely, I’ve wondered if, in another incarnation, I wasn’t oppressed myself, and the sensitivity is due to that. But for whatever reason, I really struggle with holding my tongue when I suspect a friend is being mistreated. And sadly, I find myself in a place where I lose respect for the victim as well, I assume because I expect them to see the world the same way I do. Questions:
- Isn’t everyone is doing the best they can with the skills they have?
- Aren’t I attached to an outcome here and need to let go of?
- More importantly, it’s not my business and I should stay out of it?
- Isn’t my judgment is as unskillful as that of the opportunist
- Am I guilty myself of victimizing?
- Is my ego trying to challenge that of the offender?
They say awareness is the first step toward enlightenment, but I can tell you, I hardly feel superior when a friend leaves me, walking toward the lion, knowing it’s not my battle. I seldom change any one’s mind, of course, and their plan of action, or inaction, sends me to this place of frustration and anger.
If all situations are indeed neutral, and our perception of them as either ‘good’ or ‘bad’ categorizes or paints the picture, why can’t I surrender to this more easily? After all, I don’t know the experiences that will shape the destiny of another. I’m not the choreographer in this scene, I am simply the audience. This is a lesson I’d like to move beyond because I’m allowing the opportunist to strike twice.