“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”
― Lao Tzu
It used to be easy.
Show up, do interesting work, get paid, go home, and, importantly, have a life.
It’s bloody hard.
No, it’s more than that — after all, you’re not doing manual work; it’s slowly killing your soul…one day at a time.
WOW. That’s a stark message, and it’s not one, I’m afraid, that many have taken to heart.
Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying that all is lost or my message is universal but too few lawyers are willing to address their poor state of health, emotional or otherwise, for fear, perhaps, they’ll do something drastic like…erm…leave the profession.
In a sense, the profession only has itself to blame. Too much is expected whether that be in fees, profit or the incredible demands placed on everyone — fee earners and support staff alike. (I can’t comment authoritatively but from the few conversations I’ve had, it seems just as hellish for the small band of in-house counsel.)
In my time, I’ve done my bit to advocate a different modus operandi, one that connects with your soul but I fear I’ve missed the mark by more than a few nautical miles that or people have put their fingers in their ears.
I’m not sure. I could stop commenting; I could shout even louder — I’m sure to suffer a few more slings and arrows; or I could refresh my message. Whatever I do, I’ll never stop believing in the DNA of law, the good that law can bring about and, most especially, that every person in or connected to the profession deserves more. More compassion, more kindness, more emotional connection.
To be clear, nothing that I say is for effect. I’m deadly serious when I say that the profession needs to reform itself or face extinction (in its current form). Sure, my message may not be everyone’s cup of tea but if I can ignite a spark, better still light a torch, then I’ll leave this earth contented that at least I tried. (I’m happy if my family put that on my gravestone.)