My Name is Matthew, and I am a soldier. I have an interesting view that I share from time to time with the folks I encounter as I walk the road. Some of those people have encouraged me to seek out ways to help others or simply share my views or ideas with more people. I will blog on many subjects, from things that piss me off on a daily basis to more important issues such as dealing with chronic depression and the struggles that ensue as a result. I will be taking bits and pieces from emails and rants that I have verbalized as well, so if you see something we have talked about please, smile and nod...Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014


Every so often we are afforded a great opportunity to see things from a different direction than we are used to. Often times this comes when we least expect it. We get so wrapped up in what is important to us that we forget that the rest of the world is spinning around and that there are other people there who have their own issues to attend to as well. In short, we develop into the kind of thinking that makes us feel as though we are the center of the world.

If you have read my post before, you know that I don't judge. As a matter of fact I do my very best not to and I strive to keep an open mind. However, I am not immune to getting wrapped up in my own little world. I am not above the thinking that lends itself to the selfish nature I'm attempting to describe.

Childish and selfish is the person who thinks, even for a moment that the world revolves around them. "I can deal with that, I've been called worse" I say to myself as I write this. We all have our own roe to hoe as it is said. We all have our own cross to bear, bridge to build and bridge to burn from time to time.

Someone at work upset me the other day and called me out publicly about a very sensitive subject. I pat myself on the back as I tell you that I handled the situation the best way possible I think. First thing I did was calm down and not over react. Then I attempted to process the events, not the emotions I was feeling about them. My supervisor wanted things done, and he was taking his frustration out on me and committing a personal attack. First things first, get the job done. Which I did, and then asked to speak to him privately. Then I allowed myself to be wrong, I know that I'm not perfect and I didn't do the job he wanted me to do the way he wanted me to do it. So, I simply admitted that I screwed up and what I was doing to fix the mistake. I then stood up for myself, properly. Any fool can get upset when they are attacked and sling insults or throw punches. It is in our nature to defend ourselves. What we should do, instead, is find out exactly why we feel so attacked and address that. I told my boss, clearly, that I respect him and look up to him for sage wisdom and advice when I'm confused or unsure of things. This gives him the credit he deserves for being in charge and working hard to get to a position I aspire to. Then I allowed him to see what he did that offended me. "I felt X when you said Y in front of other people". "I was offended that you called me out in public over a personal mater and it violated the trust and confidence I place in you as my boss". More or less. I allowed him the opportunity to explain and apologise if he felt the need to. I did not expect an apology or an explanation, he is after all, my boss. As he did explain and apologise, even offered up to not do such a thing again, I felt that my trust and confidence was not misplaced. A strong leader will never be afraid to admit that they too are mortal, they too make mistakes, and they too are not perfect. A strong leader may find themselves in a position to be bogged down with things to do and stresses to be managed and say or do something without thinking it all the way through. In my opinion, a strong leader will apologise when they have done wrong.

As a person, we can take this lesson home and realize that as parents, as Brothers, and Sisters, we can have the same effect on our families. As a Boyfriend or Girlfriend, we can affect the people we care about in the same way. The equation stays the same, the variables change. Again, I say in my opinion, because I don't know everything about being a leader. I certainly know nothing about being a parent. Although I am a Brother, an Uncle, and a Son, I am a Nephew and a co worker. I fill the role of leader at work, and I fill the role of Boyfriend to my Lady Friend. The best way to avoid saying "I'm sorry" is to think clearly and thoroughly before saying or doing something. As people, we don't always do that, and often times we find ourselves in a position to offer someone dear to us an apology. I don't always say I'm sorry, sometimes I wait and think about the whole situation.

It's very easy to say "ooops! I screwed up, I'm so sorry" when we do something that affects someone we care about. Almost as a quick measure to ensure that the relationship stays on good terms. For me, if it's not heart felt, why waste the breath? So when someone I care about explains to me that I did something wrong or upset or hurt them in some way, I do what I should have done in the first place and think. I take my time to try to understand exactly what I did and how I could prevent future screw ups.

Recently, I upset someone I care for and was completely beside myself when they got upset. I had to think about what I did and why. I had to try to understand exactly what happened and how I could prevent recurrences. When I did offer my apology, I explained. "I will no longer write an immediate response to emails I receive in the morning. I will read the email and digest it and then respond when I am clear headed enough to understand." My apology was heart felt and sincere. I explained what I will do in the future and how I will mitigate the situation. I did not expect a pardon. What we do, every day, teaches those we interact with about us. We shower knowledge on people every moment of every day. That knowledge can be good or bad, and it can leave a good or bad impression. Taking the time to think things through will never be a bad idea. The only exception I can think of is life and death. In that case, defending yourself, your home, or your family should always, ALL WAYS be the primary focus. Even in the heat of battle, you can take a second or two to try to understand exactly what is happening and make a rational decision though. Making a bad decision can haunt you for your entire life. Some times there simply is no going back. Some times, the decision you make is the one you live with for the rest of your days.

I will never forget the events of the Summer of 2003 and the events that took place so far from home. I thank God for whatever it was in me that allowed me to take pause, when every fiber of my being told me to react.

I wish you all the best, and sincerely hope that you have the opportunity to apologise when the time comes, we are all human after all, and we all make mistakes.



  1. You handled this in a very 'adult' manner. I am usually too angry to be so adult-like.

  2. Anger is an emotion, one that we can decide how to act on. Actions, are well within our control. We have the ability to feel without acting on those feelings. So if I FEEL angry, I can decide to be docile if the response would be too extreme. For me, when I feel a spike of emotion, regardless of what one it is, I stop acting and try to think. THEN act. Learning to do this took a long time and I still screw it up from time to time. Usually with sadness, when I am sad or hurt I don't always think first. Anger is easy for me to hold back for some reason. Any ways, I wish you the best of luck Paula.