“When 2 elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers; when 2 elephants make love, the grass also suffers.”
Old African proverb*
*Side note* I generally try not to use general terms like “African” but I couldn’t locate the exact source of the proverb. One source claimed it to be from several tribes in Nigeria. Another claims it’s Kikuyu. I’m not sure so I’ll generalize this time. Somewhere Dr. Muhammad Alpha Bah is making a snide comment about me.
I first became aware of the above proverb a few years ago. It came from a very unlikely source too. I was reading Wolverine vol 3 #41 and the proverb was featured in the prologue of the issue entitled “The Package”. In the story KIng T’Challa (The Black Panther)of Wakanda finds himself in a bit of a spot. He is both the ruler and protector of his country, which in the fictional Marvel Universe is one of only two sub-Saharan nations that have never been colonized, but he must aid his neighbors in Zwartheid who are embroiled in a civil war, while maintaining his nations centuries old neutrality. Fortunately for T’Challa he has options. Although he has many powerful American friends such as Tony Starks and Reed Richards, but T’Challa has to avoid an international incident. Foreign nations in the midst of a civil war usually don’t take kindly to Americans interfering in their affairs so T’Challa calls on a member of his new defacto family, the X-Men. Having just married X-Man Storm, he reluctantly deals with complexity that is her relationship with the X-Men, who are both her friends and family. (Imagine, your new bride’s three best friends are sometimes dead chick who can destroy the known universe, a slutty, homicidal, Canadian alcoholic who is really good with kids, and a blue-furred Catholic Priest with a prehensile tail. Sounds like a super-powered episode of Springer.) Long story short our hairy, metal-boned, hero receives a phone call from T’Challa asking a favor, he needs to prevent the grass in Zwartheid from suffering. To do this Logan must parachute into the fray and escort the infant daughter of Zwartheid’s President out of the country so that she will live to become heir to the nation’s throne and restoring peace. Caught in between two armies that want nothing more to remove the other from the gene pool, Logan does his best and saves both himself and the child.
I was reminded of the proverb again today when a few of my coworkers got their panties in a bunch again….
One attorney had set up shop in one of our conference rooms early this morning and had to be out by 2:00. He did not bother to reserve this room and he did not bother to check with another attorney who was scheduled to use the room at 2:00. Fast forward a few hours and it’s 1:59 and my unlucky a** just happened to be walking through the lobby when the attorney who wanted the room at 2:00 asked if he could use another room. He was told yes and a crisis between the two attorneys was averted right?
Unfortunately for me, the attorney who had just been ushered into an alternate room’s sh***y assistant rolls through and starts talking to the receptionist and your friendly neighborhood Agent of M.E. about the room situation.
“Blah, blah, blah, esq (no Biz Markie) doesn’t like meeting in those small rooms with his clients. I just want him to know that I scheduled him a big room.”
Next our stalwart receptionist chimes in “I don’t know why Blah, blah, blah, esq took that room. He knew it wasn’t scheduled for him.”
So at this point I’m wondering why these two are worrying about something that in no way concerns them. Both of these men make triple your salaries and could have you fired on a whim, so why don’t you just let stay out of it and let the two elephants fight it out if it comes to that. Everyday I notice my colleagues inserting themselves into situation where they can only catch fallout. There is no need to be the grass.Try being a tree or something. If your boss and some of the other check writers or decision makers start bumping heads you just stay out of it. Day after day people unnecessarily make themselves play the role of the grass in the most harsh situations and it’s seldom necessary.
The moral of the story is don’t go out seeking to get trampled by the elephants in your life. When the office pachyderm start going at it just go grab a coffee or a Newport and shut the f**k up. Trust me it will make your day a lot more peaceful.