The one where what goes around

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

Life can be turbulent at the best of times and given the madness that is unfolding daily on the global stage it hasn’t been this turbulent for some time. At times it all appears unreal, like something that would happen in a Roland Emmerich movie and any moment Dennis Quaid, Will Smith or Bill Pullman are going to get it in gear and sort the world out….

Whatever is happening on a macro level the impacts are certainly being felt by individuals and not just those who have already had to deal with lose of employment, houses, goods and chattel but even by those who are still fortunate to be in employment and at least are making the payments.

On a person level I had a period of unemployment roughly 10 years ago (I was surfing a job board when the first plane went into the Twin Towers) and whilst I didn’t realise it at the time with reflection it was an interesting leveller of the people who were genuinely invested in me and those who enjoyed my company when I had money in my pocket, the ear of my boss and a drink in my hand. It sorted the men from the boys… (And the women from the girls?!! No that doesn’t work but you get the point)

In talking to friends, former colleagues and people I know from the broader network it does appear that I am not alone in having experienced the behaviour changing in those around me. Whether that be those in politically volatile environments or those who’ve gone from being a “big cheese” to a “looking for….” it does appear that people react differently to changing status/fortunes, some choosing to see it as an opportunity to support that friend/colleague and others seeing it (or maybe just not seeing it) as a person no longer worthy of the time.

In thinking this over I can’t quite decide firstly whether I’ve ever been guilty of this and secondly whether this reflects on the values of the individual or just a misperception of the original relationship by both parties. All in all I’m not quite sure and given lots of things going on at the moment I am not giving it much thought but in sharing this would hope that at least one person takes a moment to think about those they used to ‘put the effort in’ for and maybe check in or drop them a mail for no other reason than because you can and you know what they say “what goes around comes around”….



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3 responses to “The one where what goes around

  1. Tough times. I think there are interesting times ahead and many of us have lots at stake. As someone in the new land of self employment im doing my best to navigate through these choppy waters and keep my insecurities and fears at bay. But the pressure of a family to support and all that we have worked for is ever present. And I know that if it gets tough for me i would be inclined to slip quietly off peoples radar, take the challenges offline. Save face i guess. Batten down the hatches i guess. At times like that, nothing would be more welcome than a call out of the blue, a note to say “how are you doing?” Well done for suggesting it.

  2. I think that’s one of the interesting things about social media, and in particular, Twitter. You get the measure of a person over how they interact with and engage with others. It doesn’t end up mattering if they’re an expert, a regular Joe, or an influential user, if they’re interested in you, they seek you out and help you to feel better by just talking.

    And importantly, you get to hear the tone of voice someone is using. It takes time for sure, but you hear it all the same. And when you can pick up on that, that’s what helps to create that feeling of – I’m being heard.

  3. Interesting thoughts Rob and I agree with you that it’s at these times that we often find out how ‘real’ our connections are. I’ve always tried to treat everyone as I would like to be treated myself…even if time and obstacles get in the way, its always possible to still let someone know that you’re thinking of them and that you will do what you can to help.

    As Gareth says these are most certainly interesting times for everyone and I’m sure that by facing them together we’ll all have a better chance of success.

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