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Back Off, Move On, Get Over It, Or Fight Back?

A Reader Writes:

My wife has been poorly treated at work and bullied out of her Job. The company is not interested in what has happened, only keeping it all quiet as they are 60% funded by the Government. I feel that we should fight this even though the emotional cost and financial cost could be significant. Are we weak for not fighting? Are we letting others down who will experience the same from these people?

My Response:

It’s hard for me to answer specifically without knowing the details as to how bad the abuse was, and what kind of abuse it was. I assume that since you’re asking me, you want a response from the Buddhist perspective. Well, here goes. There are three points you need to consider:

1) Wife’s Ongoing Suffering?

Clearly there was abuse and your wife suffered. Is she over it? Is it done? Or has it done some kind of permanent damage to her? Be honest- is she really still suffering? Sometimes people “suffer” just for the benefit of a lawsuit, and that’s just wrong. If not, it might be time to just “get over it” and move on.

2) Suffering Caused by Fighting Back

You mention emotional and financial costs. Are these going to cause you additional suffering? I assume so. The question here is are you suffering more by fighting than if you do nothing?

3) Eliminating Suffering of Others

Sometimes, fighting back is the right thing. If you feel that this is going to be a serious issue for others, and that genuine ongoing harm is being done, then you have a certain duty to stand up and try to eliminate the problem.

Again, I don’t know the specifics enough to recommend anything, but these are three things that must be considered. I don’t envy you this kind of choice. Sometimes standing up for what’s right is very difficult, but it’s the right thing to do. Sometimes the fight is only going to extend the suffering.

The question to be asking yourself is, -is- this the right thing to do in this case?


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