Character is demonstrated not by what you do when others are looking, but instead, by what you do when NO ONE is looking.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately. I just started my new job and it has been a LOT of shadowing other people and following them because I’m not licensed to drive state vehicles yet. I was chatting with my team lead and we got to talking about driving the state vehicles and speeding and I was VERY quick to inform him that I don’t speed. 98% of the time, I take great care to ensure that I am not speeding. The other 2% of the time, I’m what I like to call human.
This conversation that we had, while not profound in any way, really got me to thinking. In the training that I have been doing, I’ve noticed that people tend to have 2 different sides: the side that interacts with clients and the side that interacts with the rest of the world. While I know that their basic character is the same, they act like healthier, more well-balanced adults around clients. They don’t smoke, swear, say negative things, complain, etc. However, when clients aren’t around, certain individuals change quite a bit. They swear a lot more, they smoke, they may even speak poorly about the client or other workers.
I know I’ve been there and done that too, but I don’t want to be that person. I don’t want to be the person who is one way with someone and another way with someone else. I want my character to be the same no matter who is near me or interacting with me. I want to be the best worker I can be, partly in order to move up the chain faster, but also because these people deserve the best of me during my working hours. They deserve my attention and respect and they certainly do not deserve to be judged by someone who, in all rights, is no better than they are. I feel some trepidation about chatting with some coworkers because I don’t know the kind of person they are. I have a gut feeling, though, and it’s not all good.
I don’t want to enter into a cycle of judgment and gossip, finding humor in someone else’s misfortune or disability. The thing I realized, however, is that I can’t be that person just around coworkers. Eventually, the ruse will be found out and the gig will be up. I can’t simply ACT non-judgmental, but I actually have to BE non-judgmental. I have to figure out what characteristics I want to have and then I have to work hard to get them to the level I want them to be and work hard to maintain that level.
I know that mental health is NOT an easy field, it’s an incredibly challenging work environment. I do care about my clients and I care about the quality of services they receive. I care about doing my best when people are or are not watching. I care about being responsible and obey the law – even those ‘pesky’ speed limits. I know that even though people may not be watching me, Someone is and THOSE are the eyes that REALLY matter.
Do your work willingly, as though you were serving the Lord himself, and not just your earthly master. In fact, the Lord Christ is the one you are really serving, and you know that he will reward you. Colossians 3:23-24