You’re going to lose. It’s clear as day. It’s not fair, and the other side is trampling rules and precedents (not to mention their own stated beliefs), degrading the enterprise for everyone involved, and for years to come. But it’s working for them. Stomp and protest against it, but you’re still going to lose.
So much comes clear about us when we lose. Are we vengeful? Do we grunt out threats of comeuppance? Are we victims, who nurse bitterness and resentment that grow into aggressive cynicism? Are we quitters? Do we just tune it all out–the disappointment is too much to bear?
These aren’t the only options.
It helps to visualize the future in which we’ve already lost and to imagine the work we can do and the colleagues we can conscript under those conditions. More than the outcome, this vision of the future we didn’t want imagines the people we can become–the skills we can learn, the converts we can make, the networks we can build. This is a positive thinking that depends less on short term heroes and miracles and more on long term character and community building.