Do the Right Thing?

Yesterday I had a co-worker call because he needed help with something. I use co-worker loosely since we are all scattered around the country and only see one another once a year.


He starts talking about the property he inspected and starts his description with, "It's in a nice neighborhood, a mostly white neighborhood. I think."

I was a stunned with this superlative irrelevant descriptor. My internal voice said, "What the f... does that have to do with anything?" "Why would you think that is okay to say to me?" My external voice, the one that really counts said nothing. I made that quick decision that this is not the time and the place.

Afterwords, I was left with, when exactly is the time and the place? I don't want to turn my work world into a socio-political platform, but by being silent I believe I did just that. My silence let him believe that I was in his ignorant racist camp. I felt shame. I still feel shame. I feel like I'm big blow hard bag of righteous indignation, but no true action.

I made a quick and probably cowardly split second decision not to say anything. Like anyone, I have some regrets here and there in my life, but the ones that cause me the continual stabs of pain are moments like these when I failed to do the right thing.