When is it worth taking a stand and when should I just back down and stay quiet?

It’s a big question I’ve been answering wrong most of my life. There are times when I’m faced with taking action on subjects of tangible significance to me or others. In these situations, I usually feel confident diving in and making my beliefs and opinions known. Other times, the issue will be little, but for some reason, I’ll make a big deal about it.

For example, it dawned on me a few nights ago that we no longer keep any quality junk food in the house. Specifically, I noticed all the best foods starting with the letter C had been smuggled out of the cupboards. I looked for a little piece of cake, a cookie, a cinnamon roll. They’d all disappeared, as had the chips, the Cheetos, the little cups of custard. Chocolate, in all its forms, had vanished. With no treats in the house anymore, how was I supposed to reward myself for my little, “spectacular” accomplishments?

It was a paltry issue, to be sure. But nevertheless, I marched over to Sherry, Food Inventory Control Agent of our house, and asked her where all my “C food” had gone.

Sherry saw me coming, and launched a preemptive strike about how I’m looking good and have I lost a few pounds? But I wasn’t going to be confused. I knew she knew I knew what she’d done. Sherry fell silent, hoping I would let this pass and our house would stay C-food-free, a condition that wouldn’t intrude on her lifestyle at all.

Should I continue to take a stand or back down? After all, I knew I could keep fighting back and convincing myself it was worthwhile. I could make use of private hiding places where Sherry would never find my stash. I could make it an argument of principle, a personal right needing to be articulated.

In my past, I’ve been quick to make mountains out of molehills. I’d convince myself that each argument was essential, and boldly proclaim my position. Most often, over time, I lost more than I gained.

Now, the wiser me is learning to let go of the smaller disagreements in life. So instead, I smiled to Sherry and responded, “Thanks, at least three pounds worth.”