I had a particularly challenging email to respond to last night from a student who is doing terribly in my class. He isn't fulfilling the requirements, and he wrote me a nasty email about the way I'm doing my job, blaming me for his poor grade. I tactfully and respectfully responded, cc'd my faculty manager, and let him know that although I am perfectly willing to give him an "A" in the class if he does the work, he has to DO THE WORK. Of course, I still felt bad to call him out and "let him have it" in that way, but in reality, we do all have to take responsibility for ourselves. Blame isn't productive, and it usually just causes more problems. I emailed someone I trust to ask her opinion about the email and how I responded. Her response:
"You know, I just sat our student workers down and told them to cut the crap --- lots of people want their jobs if they don't want to be serious .... I explained that we do them no favors when we allow behavior that will not be accepted in the workforce ... so bottom line I think you did the right thing .... and as Obama is saying, every citizen has to take responsibility for him/herself --- AND as far as I am concerned the only question we have to answer with yes for EVERYTHING we do is 'was it the right thing to do?' "
So, maybe when you find yourself in one of those gray areas in life---What to say? What to do? Who to blame? Instead of pointing fingers and getting mad, look at yourself first.
Are you doing the right thing for your life, job, wellness, the world? If not, that's ok, but it's something to work on.