‘You can’t always get what you want’

By · Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Life’s not fair. Or, as pleasantly phrased by The Rolling Stones, “You can’t always get what you want.”

We have to remind ourselves of that every day. And, we must hope that those around us remember it, too.

Whether you are making an ethical decision, a personal decision or a decision that will affect others in a group or organization, that decision must be made with care. Even the decision to bring up an issue for discussion is a decision.

What’s the motivation? Just as in a really good mystery or thriller, that’s the key question. Be aware of it and consider it.

In my editing course, we just concluded two classes devoted to the topic, “Getting Along in the Newsroom.” The students get it.

They’ll soon learn, too, that decisions do not always cut their way. How will they respond? With grace and respect, we hope. Because one thing is certain: It’s just as possible that the next decision will be decided in their favor, and they’ll need to count on the respect of others around them.

What goes around comes around. How you treat others is pretty much how they’ll treat you. And for the few (we hope) times when you get shabby treatment no matter how respectful you are to others, well, then, as the students already have agreed: Don’t stoop to their level.

Emilie Davis

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