One day, I was sitting in a company meeting where people were discussing important policies that could have a significant negative impact on the environment.
As I sat there, I came to the realisation that while I felt very strongly about these issues, I was essentially silent.
‘Why?’ I asked myself. ‘Why am I afraid to open my mouth? When I was hired into this company from the outside years ago, I had no fear. I openly expressed my feelings and concerns. I was confident. I felt I could act with integrity. What’s made the difference?’
As I thought about it, I realised that since that time, I had acquired substantial retirement benefits. I’d bought a new home. I was making payments on a new boat. Essentially, I didn’t want to do anything that might jeopardise my economic security. I realised the ‘golden handcuffs’ held me bound.
At that point I made two resolutions : to get my financial affairs in order and build up some reserves, and to continually improve my marketability. I never again wanted to be in a position where my integrity was compromised by my dependence on a job.
– From ‘First Things First’ by Stephen Covey and A. Roger and Rebecca R. Merrill.