Lately, I was made to be the scapegoat. At first, I didn't understand. I was not the cause of the problems. It wasn't my fault that things had gone wrong. But, then things started becoming clearer. Someone needed to bear the responsibility. Someone needed to be reprimanded and replaced. Someone needed to publicly "take the fall." And the lot fell to me.
It was very uncomfortable. I was sad and disappointed. I wanted dearly to defend myself. To shed some light on the situation and set the record straight. It was so unfair! Where was the justice in it? Wasn't there some other way that things could be reconciled? But the answer was no...Someone had to be sacrificed to save face. Someone had to be "thrown under the bus."
The irony is that I'm still handling the same responsibilities behind the scenes. The only thing that's changed is that I'm no longer the "face" that people see. My replacement is the "face," but mine are still the hands that do the work. Everyone around me knew what was going on in the situation. There were no hard feelings and I was not really being blamed. Everyone just knew that a change needed to take place and I was the convenient link that could be cut loose.
We watched a movie the other night called "To End All Wars." Because of my situation, one line caught my ear. It had to do with the Bushido Code, which is the Code by which the Japanese Samurai and Kamikaze abide. Many of the Japanese martial arts' codes of conduct and ethics stem from the Bushido Code. The line went like this:
"In Bushido, it is an honor to be punished in place of your superior."
I wonder. If it is an honor to be punished in place of a superior, how much more of an honor is it to be punished for an equal? And then, what about a subordinate? What kind of man would take unwarranted blame on himself so that others would not suffer? Would even die so that others around him could live?
I know how he would feel. Disbelief. Fear. Wishing for a way out. Sad. Wanting to defend myself. Wanting someone to defend me. But, when it became clear that there was no other way...that it was up to me...there's a sense of resignation. A grim determination to do what needs to be done despite the discomfort. There's a sense of relief that the others won't have to suffer because I'm going to take it all. There's honor. Even love.
"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends."
Guard you heart!