Recently, Steve Bannon, former White House strategist and adviser to Donald Trump, became the latest person in the Trump universe to be confronted by those opposing Trump and his administration. While visiting Black Swan Books in Richmond, Virginia, Bannon was confronted by a woman who called him “a piece of trash,” according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The woman left after the owner of the store asked her to leave and threatened to call the police.
Getting in Steve Bannon’s face is a fantasy many of us have likely had. Those of us who are appalled by Trump, Bannon, and the like may feel a twinge of satisfaction reading about the incident, but it’s worth taking a moment to evaluate whether this kind of “resistance” is to the benefit of our movement and ourselves. Only you can answer that question.
It must have felt somewhat cathartic for the confronting woman when she let loose on Bannon — but what happened afterward? Did her behavior lead to an outcome that she wanted? Was she in integrity with herself? In other words, was this action in alignment with her goals for herself and her life? What about the owner of the Red Hen in Virginia, who asked Sarah Sanders to leave? Or the worker at the sushi restaurant who flipped Stephen Miller the bird? And then there was the mother who approached Scott Pruitt with her list of complaints…
We will not presume to judge any one of these encounters; each of us will need to evaluate for ourselves whether immediately expressing our minds to Trump’s people (should the opportunity arise) serves us. When we coach our clients, we guide them to look at their goals in every area of their lives — the end results they want to achieve — and to make choices and act in alignment with those goals. In other words, will your actions get you where you want to go?
Evaluate what your goal would be if you were to run into Kellyanne Conway at the dry cleaner. Would it be to manage your stress levels because your blood pressure is high? If so, perhaps you would choose to remove yourself from the situation. Are you working to become more outspoken and fearless in expressing your views? If so, speaking to her may be the right choice for you. But, you’d have to consider HOW you would do it. Would you communicate calmly or would you “let loose”? How would you feel after each of those options? Would you attack her for her support of Trump or speak about specific policies that you find abhorrent? Would your overall goal be to effect change? How and what would you communicate to feel that you did your best to accomplish this? The answers to these questions should guide your decision-making.
Right now, it is incumbent on all of us to act and participate politically in ways that we believe will create change, get people to vote, and support candidates who are in alignment with our values. We think it is well worth the time to take stock and make choices that reflect and support our vision and goals — individually and collectively — for the future.