In Support of Decency

You start out giving your hat, then you give your coat, then your shirt, then your skin and finally your soul ~ Charles de Gaulle

I think we can all agree that decency is getting a bad wrap these days. The world feels harsh, angry and intolerant. Some of the most basic courtesies have been thrown out the window in the name of individualism and strength.

I work with someone who is like that — individualistic, often mistaking bullying for strength. It’s okay for me to say that he despises me because he does but honestly I don’t let that drive me crazy … anymore. I’m leaving him to wrestle with his feelings and work out why he does the things he does.

We were in a meeting recently and he made a proposal that everyone in the meeting disagreed with. He got more than an earful from the other participants of the meeting but I remained quiet. I disagreed as well but I thought he was getting more than enough heaping of dissent and didn’t think my adding to the chorus was going to add anything new or decisive to the conversation. I’m not sure what possessed him but when I went into the office 2 days after the remote meeting, he’d left 2 bottles of wine at the door of my office. I could have left them there but that definitely would not help an already tenuous relationship. In return, I’ve decided to give him a physical hat, a proverbial coat, shirt, skin and use what is in my soul.

Don’t be mistaken, I’m not a saint by any stretch of the imagination but as a woman of faith and for the sake of behaving in ways consistent with my upbringing, in this case, I decided to forgo the way I really wanted to respond in favor of doing the right thing. So as a thank you for the wine, I’m knitting him a hat. I’m about half way through and wondering if I’m going to be playing yarn chicken with this (help me Lord … LOL!). I aim to get it done this weekend so when I go to the office next week, I can leave it for him as a surprise. He likes taking winter walks, so this hat should be a good companion for him.

  • Pattern: Ribbed Watchman’s Hat (this link leads to Ravelry. Please note that the new interface has caused accessibility issues for some users).
  • Yarn: MadelineTosh Chunky in colorway Tart (yarn base discontinued)

The color is hard to photograph so take my word for it when I tell you the colorway is amazingly richer in person. The yarn base is divine so this knit has been an absolute pleasure so far. Is it just me or does everyone else love to see the stacks to ribbing pile up? Just so very lovely!!!

Hope you all are well, warm and safe. I can’t wait to see what everyone is up to this week.

Joining the YOP (Year of Project) blogging crafters for another Sunday (week 6) of crafting and blogging. ❤

31 thoughts on “In Support of Decency

  1. wyliekay February 15, 2021 / 9:22 am

    Turing the other cheek is what God calls us to do. Kindness, compassion is often harder when interacting with difficult people. It is only through love and compassion that we knock down racism, and other daily nastiness. Law making only unlocks the door. Love opens that door. Thank you for your contribution to love.

    • Nicky February 16, 2021 / 10:11 pm

      I couldn’t agree with you more. It’s not always easy but doing the right thing always pays off.

  2. Monica February 9, 2021 / 8:36 pm

    I am not surprised you are knitting him a hat. That is who you are…a beautiful soul. I had a boss who repeated so often that difficult people must be “”killed with kindness”. Kindness is a two way feeling. It impacts the sender and the receiver.

    The ribbing of the hat is pure beauty. Can’t wait to see the hat finished and learn about his reaction.Take care gorgeous. xoxo

    • Nicky February 9, 2021 / 8:49 pm

      Thank you so much friend. I’m heading in to work tomorrow for a quick minute so I’ll be dropping it off then. This pandemic has taken so much from us, I’m trying not to add to the distress by responding in kind … it takes so much to be unpleasant, I don’t understand people who live like that all day, every day.

      • sweetpurls February 10, 2021 / 8:59 pm

        Let’s make this a better world…one hat at a time.

  3. Lucy Bowen February 8, 2021 / 2:52 am

    It’s so sad that some people act this way. But good on you as many would not have been as charitable. The hat looks lovely

    • Nicky February 9, 2021 / 8:50 pm

      Thank you so much Lucy. No credit to me, it’s my faith at work here, otherwise I would have left the wine at his office door.

  4. rubydolling February 7, 2021 / 9:56 pm

    It’s a beautiful beginning of a hat and a beautiful gesture. It is too bad that bullies can get away with it as long as they do, but maybe this will be the beginning of a change in his heart. Even if not, it’s a wonderful way to keep it from improving your inner space. Best of luck navigating the working relationship.

    • Nicky February 9, 2021 / 8:51 pm

      Yes! The world is just so full of bullies — small and large — I just don’t understand the point of being unpleasant. I get that we don’t like everyone and everyone I meet wouldn’t like me but I prefer to stay out of people’s way rather than be intentionally unpleasant. It takes too much energy.

  5. Mary-Anne February 7, 2021 / 7:00 pm

    You have taken the high road. Not an easy one, but perhaps your generosity will soften his heart a little. I love the colour you have chosen – wine coloured!

    • Nicky February 9, 2021 / 8:52 pm

      No … it’s not easy …it’s my faith at work here. Me outside of that … I would have left the wine at his door so he knows what I really think of him.

  6. Becki February 7, 2021 / 6:27 pm

    What a lovely yarn, and what a gorgeous hat that will be. It is a very generous response to a difficult (and I would think confusing) situation/work relationship. It’s been many years since I’ve been in a working relationship with difficult poeple, and it makes me sad, though I supposed not suprised, to read that there are still bullies who rise through the ranks in the work world. None of us are saints, but it’s not difficult to discern that you are a lovely person, Nicky. I hope the hat is received, a head is warmed, and maybe a heart is softened.

    • Nicky February 9, 2021 / 8:53 pm

      Thank you Becki … even if his heart isn’t softened, I’m still wishing him a warm head when he goes on his walks.

  7. knittingissofun February 7, 2021 / 6:17 pm

    OMG. That is so wonderful of you! I bet he really really appreciates it. You never know what act reaches people so I’m hoping this two way of sharing provides healing for all. Thank you for being the better person (even though it’s exhausting).

    • Nicky February 9, 2021 / 8:54 pm

      It is exhausting but worth it even in the presence of fragile peace.

  8. Cinna Knits February 7, 2021 / 5:31 pm

    Maybe this will be the bridge to forge a better working relationship.

    I have used the “kill them with kindness” approach many times in the past. Mostly because I am petty and it just made them all the more irritated with me. I’m glad the world if full of people who are more adult than I am.

    I think the hat is very beautiful, BTW. I hope it is well received.

    • Nicky February 9, 2021 / 8:55 pm

      LOLOL! See, typically I go either way — kill them with kindness or totally ignore them because my petty can go deep — this is my faith at work here.

  9. Sandra Licher February 7, 2021 / 4:49 pm

    I truly admire your holding yourself to a higher standard. Depending on the situation, I try to keep my mouth shut but it has never been easy for me. In my defense, I usually only speak out in defense of others and when I see injustice which lately seems to be everywhere! But alas my days of working and stomping my feet are over. I find it so peaceful to stay by myself.
    I have always tried to remind myself that “those who are the hardest to love need love the most” unless they are truly evil! LOL!
    I love the hat and the color is divine! I saved it….thank you for linking the pattern and telling us the yarn you used. Have a great week and enjoy the wine! Who are you rooting for in the Super Bowl? I’d root for the Bears but they’re not playing so I am taking the Chiefs. May the best team win!

    • Nicky February 9, 2021 / 8:58 pm

      The first paragraph of your comment is so me. I think that’s partly why I haven’t unleashed what I really think of him … I try to hold my tongue for professionalism and peace sake.

      I’ll have to keep remembering what you said — “those who are the hardest to love need love the most” unless they are truly evil! LOL!”

      I rooted for the Chiefs too … well … you know how that went. They’re still my team but all my people know … it’s too early for ribbing and jokes … we were totally crushed from the beginning to the end of that game.

  10. Marsha Noce February 7, 2021 / 1:47 pm

    I hope you like wine LOL. Your response to the tense situation was perfect. No need to add more ugliness to a situation. I commend you for holding your tongue. Making a hat for him might just be a first step into making him realize that kindness responds to kindness. Baby steps. This just might make him take a step back and look at himself and the way he has been treating others.

    Now, that hat is gorgeous. I can just imagine the color if you say it is much richer than the photo shows. All that ribbing will make for a lovely fitting and warm hat.

    • Nicky February 9, 2021 / 9:02 pm

      I do like wine Marsha … a lot! LOL! Yes, we’ve been dealing with too much ugliness on a whole as world citizens, I don’t have the energy to be mean. I’m no saint, if he catches me off guard another day all bets might be off (LOL!) but for now, he’ll get a hat.

      I got a better picture of the color, I’ll post on Sunday when I update.

  11. lovestoswatch February 7, 2021 / 1:18 pm

    well, you are indeed a good, beautiful soul, as I wouldn’t have knitted him the hat, I think I could only have gone as far as accepting the bottles, which in all likelihood is far less than you deserve – so good on you!

    • Nicky February 9, 2021 / 9:06 pm

      Thank you! Trust me, I’m no saint, it’s my faith at work here.

  12. Deb February 7, 2021 / 10:47 am

    What a beautiful response to such a complicated person and relationship. Instead of letting his toxic approach settle inside of you, you left him to his own growth while protecting and nurturing yourself. The only thing you are 100% in charge of, is you. Maybe your act of decency will result in some self-reflection on his part, but who knows? Instead you have surrounded your heart with love and, in that act, raised your higher self and nourished yourself. And ohmy, that hat is pretty darned glorious! Yay, you. ❤️❤️❤️ Inspiring and leading the way, as always.

    • Nicky February 9, 2021 / 9:07 pm

      Thank you for always thinking me better than I am. You know I could get wild! 😀

  13. QuaintrelleNoire February 7, 2021 / 9:51 am

    I don’t know where or when it started, but it seems in some places, or maybe a lot of workplaces, because I hear about it so much, that bullying has become an acceptable tactic. In all my working years, I’ve never seen it do anything more than cause a hostile work environment. One woman was so toxic that after she retired, I contemplated ways of saging the office to clear the negative energy.

    • Nicky February 7, 2021 / 10:30 am

      It’s sad to think that this is so prevalent as a person and as a HR professional. The thing is where I am, he’s the only person who functions this way. 😦

      • highlandheffalump February 8, 2021 / 7:22 pm

        Well you are a better person than I am. I’ve spent time at school and in work environments with bullies and I’ll be interested to find out his reaction so do keep us updated on how he responds. It’s a lovely colour.

        • Nicky February 9, 2021 / 9:14 pm

          Thank you … same … I’ve seen them at school and experienced them in almost every job I’ve had … it’s a shame anyone is a bully or has to experience one.

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