Deborah Kerr: Let It Slide

Interview with Deborah Kerr
Via Telephone
Conducted by James Grissom

I was taught well, I think, by my parents, to be grateful for work, for opportunities, for second chances. I was also--quite naturally--someone who did not want to be a problem, to interfere. I don't think I was afraid of losing my work: I was terribly afraid of not being seen as grateful; I was horrified if I used up anyone's energy or time. I did not want to cause any trouble.

I'm grateful for this timidity within me, because it served me well, and I can tell you now--at an advanced age and after many, many experiences--that it is almost always best to say nothing, to look away, to let things slide. I'm not talking about episodes of abuse or cruelty--those should be reported. I'm talking about the frictions that arise in every work situation; I'm talking about the bad moods and the misunderstandings. Let it all slide. Sleep on it. Get back to work. The person you feel is destined to become your enemy and your problem may one day be your best friend and ally. This has happened to me several times.

And I have never been on the record with a complaint or a snipe, and in not making the statement--which would then be imprinted on my heart and in my memory--I did not believe it about the person. It faded away.

Let things go. There are a handful of important things in this life, and they require all of our energy and our talents and our study. If we get those right, we've made good use of our time here.

So your feelings got hurt or your ego bruised. Let it slide.

My bad moods were always incentives for me to get better rather than to get even.

© 2014 James Grissom


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