I spent time with Steve and his family this weekend. It was a blast. Steve’s dad took us on an adventure in the van and coincidentally followed an ambulance through a turn and a merge. I couldn’t resist teasing him about being an ambulance chaser. Thankfully the response was laughter and I wasn’t thrown out of the van. I assure you, he’s not that kind of a lawyer. He even changed lanes so he wouldn’t be following the ambulance anymore.
I’ve been smiling at that since and then today it hit me. I don’t want to be an ambulance chaser, either. The phrase “ambulance chaser” is representative of the dirty kind of lawyering. People who scour the world for accidents, trying to profit from unfortunate circumstances. There’s no heart in ambulance chasing. There’s no good intentions. It’s shady and sketchy.
I’m going to equate it with people who stir up drama where there needn’t be as much of it. We know people like that. If you don’t, think of anyone you’ve ever heard say “I hate drama.” People who complain about it the most frequently feed it and make it grow. Okay. I’ll admit it. I’ve been that person. Have we all?
It’s hard to resist a good crisis. It’s nearly impossible to avoid gossip or a good story. The Methodist Church in Winterset had a sign that said “Gossip-Free Zone” and my response to the sign was snark, not gratitude for remembering how we’re supposed to be. Starting now (and likely restarting often until I unlearn my habits), I’m going to try to be a better person. I’m going to resist the urge to dig for a little more information. I’m going to see an ambulance or a train wreck coming and do my best not to hunt it down to find out what’s going on.
I can do better. I can be better.
Drama is stirred up by the level of attention I pay to gossip. I don’t want to cause or encourage harm and accusations. I don’t want to chase it. I want to go back to assuming the best about people and their intentions. I want to let people’s character and actions to define them– not other people’s words or opinions.
I’m gonna end this post with a quote from John Fox, current Broncos head coach. He was asked what he thought about the Patriots adding Josh McDaniels (former head coach of the Broncos) to their offensive coaching staff right before the Patriots and Broncos play each other Saturday. Fox replied, “I just stay in my lane.”