Advice Needed: It Is The Small Things That Matter

Many overlook the small things and wonder why good employees leave or quit.  The small things add up to three strikes, and you’re gone.  I am at a crossroads and am unsure of what to do.  I need advice!  Close friends and family know my concerns and have advised me to quit.  They cite my health, personality, and integrity as reasons to stop engaging.

However, I am not a quitter, but I value my time.  I recognize the opportunity to work within the grassroots political system to produce change.  But it’s a system where I don’t feel supported and am too experienced at reading people to play along.

How do people keep engaged and enthusiastic when microaggression is at play?  I want some tools that enable me to look beyond and focus on my purpose.

When I practiced medicine, there was quite a bit of daily microaggression.  It was stressful, but I was younger, experienced, and needed to work.  So my tool was to be physically present and mentally checked out at meetings or social events.  I recognized participating was a waste of my time and energy, so I caught up on patient care during administrative meetings.  It worked well, but I did eventually burn out.

Microaggressions exist in many forms, and those who use them to make others feel small or undermine their efforts do so with malice and a desire to see that person leave or feel unwanted.  But many actors of that behavior are unaware of their microaggressive attitude toward people of color.  They become defensive or fragile when confronted, blaming the target for being so sensitive.

While pondering those thoughts, I discovered why many people don’t vote and will never do.  It had nothing to do with transportation, taking time off from work, or the distance of polling locations.  Intentionally not voting is a vote of no confidence.  It is a protest non-vote against a two-party system that denies constituents a choice or any representation on their platform.

One of the many reasons Hillary Clinton lost to Trump was Democrats ignored their marginalized constituents who did not trust Clinton.  Instead, they felt those constituents had no choice but to vote for Clinton, given the choice between her and Trump.  The party forgot the option of not voting.  While voter turnout was greater than in the 2012 election, the demographics differed.

I am finding it challenging to focus on change.  I see people wearing so many hats I wonder how they remain on their heads.  Wearing an abundance of hats makes change a backburner issue.  Should I continue to struggle or disengage with the system altogether?  What would you do if you were in my position?
As I think about my next step, the following quote from Krishnamurti is in my mind.

“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”― J. Krishnamurti.


Author: Angela Grant

Angela Grant is a medical doctor. For 22 years, she practiced emergency medicine and internal medicine. She studied for one year at Harvard T. H Chan School Of Public Health. She writes about culture, race, and health.

21 thoughts on “Advice Needed: It Is The Small Things That Matter

  1. Angela,
    It was wonderful to chat with you this morning!
    After our conversation I encountered a piece on Stoicism.
    It might naively be summed up as keeping a stiff upper lip, yet it is much more comprehensive and nuanced.
    I am an erstwhile student.

    Take a look at Stoicism as a philosophy and as a discipline to move about the world, encounter its boundaries, and respond healthily.


  2. Re: “What would you do if you were in my position?” I would never have been in your position. Especially during my younger years I learned the hard way that politicians hardly ever act in accordance with what they say they stand for, and actually are only concerned with making life better for themselves.

    Political parties? Based on lies and deceit. They are a pest, and only trying to get more power, and to make life miserable for people who disagree with them. Ingroup – Outgroup way of thinking/acting at its worst.

    Democracy? A nice idea, but in practice a pathetic joke. Democracy is only that when the majority stands up for the interests and wishes of the minorities. So far I haven’t seen that anywhere, and don’t think it ever will.

    So, if I were to find myself in your position nevertheless, Angela, I would follow Lucitta’s manner in these matters, and withdraw myself completely from that mess.

    Jiddu Krishnamurti’s quote? I have posted that one many times myself, and when people tell me I’m an asshole who doesn’t belong in their society, I take that as a compliment 😈

  3. Last several days, my BP spiked, and it remained high for 36 hours. It was unusual for both the systolic and diastolic to be elevated. It came down to 120/79. It was normal before the meeting. Minutes following the meeting, it was 154/103 and remained high. I was stressed. For health reasons, I have to tiptoe out of politics. It may be time to play Pickle Ball.

      1. You know the kicker is the person doing the microaggression will be the DEI person across the county. I don’t think I will ever vote again!

  4. Peculiar that I lived in some of the same buildings as J. Krishnamurti during his “Order of the Star” days, but in the 70’s I had no idea who he was. A few years after I found out I had a half brother, whom I met in 2013, we rode our motorcycles to some of the places I had lived in the Netherlands, including Eerde (go ahead, google it), an international school near Ommen. It turned out that my brother is somewhat knowledgeable about Krishnamurti and while strolling along the outer moat of the property he told me this is one of the places where Krishnamurti spent a few years. I think Krishnamurti returned the property to the van Pallandt family around 1929.

    Maybe it’s time to acknowledge that there is no 2 party system; ever notice how much things do NOT change after an election? The second thing one should consider is that during elections, someone else determines who one can vote for, in other words; the outcome is largely predetermined by others, not your votes. One could put a farm animal in the White House and I don’t think it will make a bit of difference. The elected people in the other branches of government aren’t much different. I think Congressmen spend something close to 30 hours per week on fundraising and that leaves very little time for what they are supposed to be doing. I think “democracy” is somewhat of a baseless religion, and the people elected concerned mostly with the next election and doing what they are told. Doing what they are told you ask? Yes, that’s what Epstein was about, controlling people in power through extortion. Call me crazy, but someone with that kind of dirt does NOT need to commit suicide to get out of jail; his departure and subsequent silence was, ..erm.., shall we say: probably arranged? Haha.

    Here are some of my favorite quotes:

    “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”
    ~ Frédéric Bastiat; 1801 – 1850.

    “It’s a big club and you ain’t in it”
    ~ George Carlin; 1937 – 2008.

    As far as quitting your job or not: Become like the politicians; don’t give a hoot and milk their system for all you can get from it. A large capacity for indifference, and pretending otherwise, will serve you well in that job.
    Failing that, here is a better strategy; find another job first and leave quietly once a new secure job is obtained.
    Best of luck.

    1. Thanks for sharing the personal history about Krishnamurti. I agree with your statements about Democracy.
      I am doing volunteer work, and wanted to acquire new skill sets then branch out into a small business. George Carlin is right. I ain’t in it. I will never vote again.

      1. Most places I lived I wasn’t allowed to vote, but now that I do have the right to vote, I no longer see the point. In my country older folks tell me that back in the day voting was considered compulsory, not a privilege. These days I see voting as giving them permission to do what they do, so by not voting I express my disagreement without getting in their way. I went to school with members of some of the most powerful families and I know who they are and what they are like. Some of them have not worked a single day in their lives yet own the absolute most expensive real estate available. I will leave it at that because on a personal level, some of them are really nice folks.
        We ain’t in it! We can only get in through marriage or extraordinary skills, but what else is new?

        The best of luck starting a small business, I hope you succeed. Starting a business in a declining economy is worthy of a healthy dose of respect, but maybe you have the right idea and skill set to pull it off.

        1. I told the County Chair I resigned and would probably never vote again. She said so sorry if you want to leave feedback, you can. I did. My feedback was microaggression and a lack of support and concern for me. Did she respond to my feedback? Nope. That would have meant she cared. I will never volunteer my time and skill to another political party and never vote again. I don’t care who wins. They are all the same, and none of them are about change.

          There is a lot more that I will share in another post, but she showed me my vote does not matter to the Travis County Democrats. Yet they fundraise around GOTV (getting out the vote).

          I need a business sense. It is more of a pipe dream than one that will ever come true. I have ideas but need the skillsets, knowledge, or money to start a business. I am going to turn my interest to Pickle Ball.

          1. She got back to me. I essentially told her what I wrote and her tone changed. She has her hands full. I understand it’s a hard job. This morning I have a meeting with her.

    2. “Become like the politicians; don’t give a hoot and milk their system for all you can get from it. A large capacity for indifference, and pretending otherwise, will serve you well in that job.” That advice will serve me well.

        1. Sometimes you have no choice but to be indifferent. You’re right. It’s not my MO. Next time I will have a different approach and people I can talk with. Having a small support network inside will help. If I knew how I could freelance, I would do that too in a heartbeat. I have a few business ideas. Putting them into action is where I get stuck.

        1. I am not a herd worshipper. I believe how you do things matters as much as the outcome. With the BP controlled, I am ready to fight for change. I must become less passionate and prioritize reducing stress and protecting my mental health.

          In addition, this was something I wanted to do the moment I got here, so it’s hard to walk away.

  5. The final straw was when I came up with an idea, did the work and the micro-aggressive person took my work. Then I was told I could have a central role in reporting to her on my work. Essentially they wanted me to come up with a path forward and give it to her. She is paid and I am not.

  6. Run! If they don’t even want to acknowledge your ideas don’t give them any of your time. Personally I only do work where I determine the price and if they don’t want to pay me I simply smile and walk away.

  7. Thank you Koo, Roald, and Onno for your thoughtful advice and others. You came to my distress as usual. I appreciate each of you. It was unanimous! We’re of similar minds. However, there is a nagging voice telling me to try something different. I have to sleep on what that means. Btw, my BP is much better. Good night.

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