Can you imagine being asked to help someone who has fallen on hard times? Yes, of course.
But what if you helped that person and they betrayed you? It uncomfortable, but life happens.
Bear with me – this gets a bit more intense and strange.
What if the person you helped actually staged photos of your home, without your permission, and posted them online to use in promoting their cleaning services?
Doesn’t feel good, does it?
Now – imagine this person saw an opportunity to better their position in life and in business by using photos of your home to help someone else. Think betrayal – as in the photos are given to your opponent in a court case while you are kept in the dark, unaware that this relationship has formed and that this person who made you believe she is here to help you is actually acting to cause you harm.
Where would you start? How do you address such unscrupulous behavior?
Of course you turn first to how you can keep things peaceful for your children; the less drama the better, right?
But what if the person you trusted to help you at home decides to become involved in taking your children from you? What do you do then?
Do you expose the situation publicly, or do you let karma take care of it?
That’s what we all want as parents, grandparents, teachers and coaches for our kids.
To ask for help early on to troubleshoot any challenges, including emotional burdens.
To use better judgment when choosing which company you keep, where you spend free time and how you treat your family, as a few examples. Each act of wisdom and each show of empathy and kindness may help prevent breakdowns and crimes as revealed in the news story below about a man who could not cope with the consequences of his addiction — set in East Cobb County, Marietta, Georgia.
After studying parent/child relationships for decades, analyzing hundreds of cases involving family conflict, I can say for certain that a parent’s judgment in how he or she guides children to treat other family members has a lot to do with preventing ongoing dysfunction, including addiction, family violence, abuse in relationships, etc.
Several cases in Georgia involve someone taking a life, their own or a family member’s life, committing arson and other crimes, because that person doesn’t have the coping mechanisms needed in relationships and in deciding how to handle uncertainty and disappointment.
A Marietta, Georgia, man turned suicidal, burned down his family home, ran from police and put many other lives at risk.
This story could have turned into a much greater tragedy, but fortunately no lives were lost and the perpetrator of arson and drug use is behind bars.
Below: traumatized father and neighbor talks about the scene. Other neighbors led from smoke-filled, burning homes adjacent to Matt Olson’s unit. We do not yet know the total damages caused by his addiction, suicidal behavior, arson and the police chase.
Photography and video credit: Fox 5 News, Atlanta, Georgia
My title here should be, The Rewards of Standing Your Ground, but I’ll save that for my next post.
When least expected you may face an attack on your character, on your business and reputation; or the attack may come at you as a parent, or even on all of the above. Yes, unfortunately I know this personally and can attest to the uncomfortable consequences, but I also expect to demonstrate the rewards of learning and growing from the experience.
It’s a choice to stay in the experience rather than running from it, and it’s a choice – sometimes an hourly one – to grow from it and seek the purpose in the lesson. Some people wonder why I don’t take their advice and just let it go and move on to something else, but more of those who know me or those who can see why I stand my ground so often (which means more litigation than I care to discuss here), express admiration and encouragement for staying the course. I’m grateful and very blessed to have more new friends and signs of support than I can count. Fortunately I’m also not alone in being bull-headed about righting wrongs and addressing foul play.
I draw strength from seeing how others handle these attacks, especially when someone stands their ground when the cost is very high. Even better is when others join forces because they know the person’s work and character are compelling, meaningful to society and worth fighting for. If you see some of my posts on LinkedIn, Twitter and occasionally on Facebook about a fight going on, about creating transparencyover professional misconduct or about child abuse, I hope you’ll remember this explanation here on my personal blog.
I want more people to realize they can overcome retaliation and improve personally and at work from dealing with the consequences of standing up to those who willfully steal, lie and litigate to cause harm. And as I’m frequently told, if someone is retaliating against you and trying to bring you down, it’s likely because you’re doing something right, something of value for society.
Two people I am proud to know and cheer for in their ongoing battles against wrongdoing and false allegations are Michael J. Daugherty and Mark Thomason, both from Georgia. Both were just doing their jobs, diligently and with integrity, contributing to society by building their own businesses and giving back when they were ambushed.
Both are duking it out with the bad actors in litigation and in social media, and both on principle…because someone has to so that more innocent people and upstanding businesses are not harmed. Daugherty, now an author and spokesman on cybersecurity and government overreach, has been calling out the witch hunt on the federal agency level, while Thomason’s open records requests were made on a hyper-local level (Blue Ridge, Georgia, in the Appalachian Judicial Circuit) but leading to national recognition and support from news media.
Watching the events unfold in their respective fights is somewhat like looking in a mirror, and when you learn more about what sparked their fights, you may be able to relate on some level. If that’s the case, I hope that you are inspired and find something to draw strength from as I have. When someone does harm to you or to a person or place you care about, and you feel called to do something about it, prepare for and expect the blowback!
I believe both Michael and Mark will affirm that it will worsen before it gets better and relief arrives, but there is no greater satisfaction (outside of parenting, personally) than showing you have what it takes, including a network of support, to prevail in the end.
Please check out their stories – Mike Daugherty and Mark Thomason – and follow the updates on these cases. The retaliation against these good men is alarming, blatant and clearly meant to destroy, but I expect both will prevail and that our society will be better off for the stands they are taking.
Mark’s updates can be seen on the Fannin Focus Facebook page when other news media report on the situation, so this is the easiest way to keep up with Mark.
Twitter is my favorite way to keep up with Mike and the banter about data security, privacy, and the hacking done by Tiversa to create profits from false allegations against his business. Unreal! [This reminds of a couple other Georgia cases involving computer security experts being used to create false criminal claims, which were turned into profits for a few attorneys and their experts; one of these cases involves a story of national interest, so you’ll see more coming out on this one].
Your story, I am guessing, is also worth telling and I’m glad to read or listen, and to invite you to talk about it when Pro Advocate Radio returns for its next season!
Watch this WSB-TV report to go deeper into the saga exposing judicial impropriety, retaliation against reporters who ask too many questions and to see how our news media are responding.
A candidate spoke of the positives coming out of the violence at his political rally. Yes, he did.
No mention of the injured officer or of the waste of our tax dollars caused by his inciting of violence and intentionally divisive, inflammatory words and conduct. But he did speculate it could be good for his vote count while talking to media and even went on to talk about himself and his supporters as being the victims for having their first amendment rights denied.
The organized group of people, many of them thugs, who shut down our First Amendment rights in Chicago, have totally energized America!
The Thin Blue Line is a symbol used by law enforcement, originating in the United Kingdom but now prevalent in the United States and Canada to commemorate fallen officers and to symbolize the relationship of the police in the community as the protectors of the citizenry from the criminal element. In my opinion this line gets thinner when people treat law enforcement with disrespect and make their jobs harder, and integrity – or the lack of it – has everything to do with this problem.
Think. When we unnecessarily make police work harder by inciting violence we – candidates who activate hate, racism, fear, anti-semitism, and more – undermine our officers’ ability to protect and to serve as they are trying to do.
Poor judgment by candidates increases the risk to our officers, to families and children, to businesses, and, yes, to reporters as well. When you put down women, minorities and lie about what you’re doing, you’re inviting in abuse…but this candidate then rewards it with more fanfare.
When we create situations that cause law enforcement to have to react – and these are avoidable situations – we are wasting our resources, taking officers away from areas where others are truly in need of protection.
This candidate said about a protestor, “I was ready for him,” Trump said. “But it’s much easier if the cops do it.” This says he knows what he’s doing, escalating fear and hate, but that it’s not his problem, it’s law enforcement’s problem. And…it’s OUR problem as taxpayers, as parents, as business owners, etc. This doesn’t help us – – it hurts us.
Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski added, “We don’t make decisions in a vacuum. We coordinate with all the appropriate law enforcement.”
But Anthony Guglielmi, a Chicago police spokesman, told CNN that Trump’s claim that he informed a police commander before making the decision to cancel the rally was “absolutely untrue.”
“No one from the campaign contacted the Chicago Police Department and we were not involved at all in canceling the event,” Guglielmi told CNN. [So this candidate’s going to subject our officers to greater risk, and our citizens, and then lie about his campaign’s conduct while blaming police.]
“I was literally standing next to the superintendent when we were notified by the university that the event had been canceled. I think a lot of people were surprised, including the Secret Service officer standing next to us who was notified at the same time.”
Guglielmi added that police then dispatched an additional 100 police officers to the University of Illinois arena, where the event was being held, to assist with crowd control.
What if, Mr. Presidential Candidate, instead of stirring up violent protests for the sake of attention, media ratings and to distract from your own misconduct, you managed in a way that encourages law enforcement to use their time and energy to rescue victims of child trafficking and to pursue the predators in each area you visit?
That is what honoring law enforcement and protecting our vulnerable citizens looks like, when you choose what is right for them over what your ego demands.
If enough people say the truth over and over again maybe it will start to resonate with voters who still have integrity and empathy for people.
To the millions who are struggling, losing children, homes, health and jobs, I hope you’ll consider the attitude and example of candidates and watch how they treat others. If someone is cavalier about risking the lives of our officers, retaliates against a victim of violence for speaking out, threatens anyone who speaks out against him and rewards those who put profits over facts, what chance do you think we’ll have of getting him to care about the plight of families and children? Where on his list of priorities do you think your family will fall?