There have been a lot of people getting mad at me lately because I haven't gone "goo goo" over them, and they're all people who haven't had the courtesy to ask how Rick's dad is doing (even though they know he's had problems because I told them and they gave me the blank "I don't give a crap" stare) or to say "I'm sorry" over Ollie dying. Let me just put it to you plain: I know we all like some people better than others. It's human nature, and this isn't a "shame on you" speech. But life has a way of throwing you curveballs sometimes, and one of reality's favorites is needing people that aren't on the list of approved people in your life. That person you're ignoring, hiding things from, talking about, or spraining your neck sticking your nose up at may very well be the person you need tomorrow - badly. Play around too much, and they won't do their part, because people do know when you don't like them, and they may not be willing to "play along." And why should they? When you've made it clear that you don't care about them, then why should they go out of their way for you?
I'm not saying you have to like everybody. That's impossible. What I am saying is that common courtesy can bridge gaps cased by personality differences. Let me tell you a few things that they don't teach you in basic getting-along-with-others advice:
1. Not everybody is like you.
2. Not everybody sees the world like you do.
3. Not everybody experiences life the way you do.
4. Not everybody has to like you.
5. Not everything that's said or done is all about you (the world is a big place, and people know other people EVERYWHERE!).
If you're going to venture out into the world, you have to learn to work with and deal with people that are different from you. The #1 way of doing that is to express some interest in them outside their "function" in your world. Common courtesy and manners go a long way here. You might be a jerk, but I'm more willing to give you a hand if you have the decency to ask "what's up" and lend me a hand every now and then than barging in with your demand list and assuming I'll do it "because you're Christian and it's the right thing." Uncomfortable truth: once the "right thing" is made a liability, what's right changes, and it won't be to your advantage. Once something is twisted, everything changes.
Simply stated, you have to learn to act like you give a crap every now and then, even if you don't care about them any more than you care about the extra 40 minutes in a Martian day. What you step on today may be what you trip over tomorrow. Burning bridges is a dangerous pastime, because life has a way of bringing you back around to places you never thought you'd see again. We all have to suck it up every now and then. And the more you want, the more you have to suck up.
God help, I'm no fool and neither is anybody else. Everybody can tell when the bar's set at a different place for them than for others. All I'm saying is that breaking out of your comfort zone to be courteous and find out what's up with the people you don't like as much can mean the difference between cooperation and conflict later. You never know when that moment might come.
Just a heads up, people - discretion, discernment, and common courtesies. They aren't dead in the modern world. In fact, they're probably more important now than ever in an expanding worldwide network. Consider this a public service announcement to help you improve all of the relationships in your life - because relationships really are the most important thing. More than money, power, or popularity, it's relationships built on trust that matter the most. So build trust, and I'll bet you'll find nearly all of your battles won before you even fire a shot.
That's all today. Take care and have a good week.