How to Take the High Road

At some point, most parents encourage their kids to travel to a strange place.  It’s called “the high road” and children have no clue where it’s located.


We parents lump The High Road talk in with other famous bits of wisdom.  These include, but I’m sure are not limited to the following:


-“Life’s not fair”

-“You have to roll with the punches”

-“People are like that”

-“We don’t do that in our house”


And my personal favorite:


-“Offer it up”


Taking The High Road is a great metaphor for parents when they face a situation that is hard to navigate.  Exhibit A might include a 6th grade son who faces a classmate who is a royal pain in the neck.  The High Road would translate into ignoring the other kid as often as possible.


Exhibit B could include the coach who uses a few choice words after the weekend baseball game, again showing his inability to motivate youngsters.  The High Road might supplement dinner conversation with a pleasant, “Oh well, Coach Fisher won’t be your coach next year.  There are only two games left in the season anyway.”  


All of this is fine but does it hold water once you turn into an adult?  Could it be that we should still Take The High Road when we are managing others, executing projects and maintaining standards?


This is where our faith comes in.  I suggest at least a few moments when The High Road might be appropriate after all:


-You get a nasty email from a colleague.  The High Road: go and see him/her personally to talk about it rather than fire back a “you’re an ass” email.

-You get steamrolled by a boss during a meeting.  The High Road: file that moment away in your mental Black List and never forget it.  That boss showed his/her true colors and you’ll be prepared the next time.

-You fall victim to something in the rumor mill.  The High Road: rumors are basically uncontrollable and driven by people who crave weird information.  Ignore the mill.

-Your assistant is late for three days in a row, citing elder care issues.  The High Road: show some compassion and be supportive.  After all, you’ll be old someday too.


Whether you are five or fifty five, The High Road still applies.  This is not to say that you become a pushover or compromise your standards.  Rather it means that you leave some room for God to step in and be a central part of your work.


Question: when was the last time that you took The High Road?


Photo courtesy of JW