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Sunday, 31 May 2015

Learn Which Battles To Fight

When I first started my current job, my colleague who then went on to become my boss told me a piece of advice: “Learn which battles to fight.” I’m not an argumentative person but if I feel strongly about something, I find it hard to let it slide. Fast forward a couple of years and it’s a piece of advice I now pass onto others.

Winston Churchill once remarked on a similar situation by saying “You have enemies? Good, that means you stood up for something in your life.” If you go through life not fighting for anything and letting people in some ways walk all over you - yes, it will be peaceful but you may also lose out on opportunities too and in some cases, people’s respect for you.

I lost my nanna to cancer and whilst I couldn’t fight that for her or stop what happened, I wish I’d fought in other ways. I’m not going to get myself into a pity party for one here but long story short, it was only under a week before she died that we were told she’d had cancer. She’d not been 100% for a while and had had doctors round who didn’t pick up on it. She then went into hospital where she was diagnosed with everything else under the sun BAR cancer. Her treatment at the second hospital where she passed wasn’t great with the staff and the way they looked after her. Under the NHS you have a certain length of time that you can make a formal complaint, and part of me will always wish I did. They say you shouldn’t live life with regrets but that’s definitely one of them. But then part of me thinks what would be the point? It’s not going to bring her back and she was such a caring, calm person that I don’t think she’d want me turning bitter because of it.
Not all battles will be as big as that of course. In your day to day life you’ll come across scenarios where someone simply winds you up. This happens to me at work or socially outside of my job where I’ll get offended at something someone says to me but then I try and take a step backwards and question whether it’s worth me getting worked up. Not everyone has the same mindset or manners as you, so in some cases it’s best to kill those people with kindness and go along your way.

I recently gained a friend back in my life. We’d not spoke properly for a while for no reason and it hasn’t been easy as inevitably time passed can hurt just as much as other factors, but it’s worth it, and I’m glad I fought for it. I know things can’t go back to the way they were but I didn’t want to lose her and it restored my faith that you can change things around - it’s never too late.

Someone else I know is going through a horrible time with immigration laws and whether she and her husband can stay in the country where she’s lived her entire life. She deals with this and comes to work everyday and unless you’re close to her, you wouldn’t even know. I have a lot of admiration for her as I’m not sure I could be that strong everyday. She’s an example to me of a battle most definitely worth fighting for.

This weekend I found out my friend who was battling with cancer has been given the all clear. There's not a bigger battle to fight than that, and it puts all of the tinier battles, which we think are battles into perspective.


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