I am like Batman! Maybe you are too.
I recently wrote about how I’m not Batman and that you probably weren’t either. My point was that we can all be served by getting rid of the idea that great leaders are heroes and get on with being a bit more human.
This time, I’m going to share with you one way that I am just like Batman!
Batman is obsessed about bringing justice to Gotham City and is part of the Justice League. The guy is all about justice. If and when this pursuit of justice is considered and doesn’t become an obsession, it can be a useful thing. As my friend, Alicia McKay wrote recently, sometimes embracing your inner rebel can be fantastic. All of the examples that Alicia uses here could easily be interpreted as a fight against injustice…
“Thanks to the inner rebel, we see movements for civil rights, gender equality, mental health awareness, diversity and inclusion.”
So, fighting injustice is a good thing, right? Yep. Until it’s not.
Just like when Batman pushes the boundaries with the people of Gotham by taking the blame for Harvey Dent’s crimes or when his decision lead to his faithful butler, Alfred leaving him due to his self-destructive and blind pursuit of justice.
I have had a strong reaction to a few things that have happened recently and was reflecting on what triggered such strong responses in me. The pattern that I noticed was that when I get a sense of injustice (based on my own biased view of the world), it can be a very strong driver of my thoughts and actions. It tends to not serve me – or others – very well. As I look around, I notice that pattern appearing with the leaders that I work with also. It’s sometimes subtle, but it may turn up with phrases like:
“This is supposed to be his job”
“When I was doing that job, I had to put in huge hours”
“Why are we the ones having to pick up their mess?”
It can be less subtle, like “it’s not fair”. That’s pretty obviously a sense of injustice!
For me, when the Dark Knight of injustice rises, I need to be very careful about the way that I respond (and do my best not to have a knee-jerk reaction!). For each of us, the triggers can be different. Just like Batman, our pursuit of justice can be a force for good or a force that leads to destruction (often self-destruction). Becoming aware of our triggers can help each of us to use our desire for justice more wisely.
A couple of questions to consider:
When was the last time you experienced a sense of injustice?
How can you make your response to injustice a positive experience for you and others?