Food for thought?
How hard should you fight if you are 100% sure that you are innocent?
I had exactly that experience back in my Air Force days in New Zealand. I can still feel the sudden rush of blood to my face at the sheer impossibility of the accusation and the decision that had been made that completely redirected my life.
The details are all in my book Flash of Silver and really have nothing to add to my basic question and therefore would take up unnecessary space. Let me hasten to add, for the record, that I found out exactly what had happened over a decade later -it had been a case of mistaken identity based upon someone who pretended to have my responsibilities in the Air Force.
The big issue is…how hard should I have fought at the time when I knew I was innocent?
The consequence was, by the way, a decision made by my senior officers not to recommend me for a permanent commission. This resulted in my leaving the service after my five years; which in turn resulted in major benefits and opportunities!
But let’s get back to a false accusation set against our certainty of innocence…how hard should one fight?
Within the armed forces there is a mechanism called a ‘redress of wrongs’ where one can seek to have an accusation overturned. I immediately chose to go that route, only to be strongly advised by my next senior officer not to do it, “lest you are forever known as that officer who was falsely accused of…that issue. What may remain would simply be the issue and not the exoneration!”
Frankly, at the time I was so furious at the injustice that I decided that serving with people who behaved in such a manner would be an unacceptable choice of employment.
So, I resigned myself to leave at the earliest opportunity…which I did!
So…what about now?
Had I pressed my case I know the truth would have come to light, and apologies made and accepted, and I would have missed everything that began to happen from that time on.
My next question then is, does losing a job because of a false charge mean you need to fight it…or could it be to your benefit to simply ‘grin and bear it’ and move on to the next opportunity that, may, like mine, lead to much better things?
The need to defend oneself is a strong one, especially when you know that your position is the right one. It can however often lead to devastating conclusions and actions.
Sometimes ‘graceful’ acceptance can be seen as both wise and commendable and can eventually lead to a truthful understanding?
Has this happened to you? Have you been able to put it behind you? In hindsight –did it all work out?
This week I read Treena’s poem Morning Glory