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Monday, December 14, 2009

Can't we all just get along?

The way that people interact with each other seems to have changed over the years. There was a time, when the saying, "it takes a community to raise a child" was an accurate observation of community practice. Community events and projects used to be a popular way to spend some free time in service to the community in general or to help out specific individuals who needed assistance. These days, it seems our attitude has changed.

Now, we can be seen zipping here and there in our cars, oblivious it seems to all the other cars on the road, let alone the pedestrians trying to cross the street. Our relations with the neighbours to our immediate left or right often seem strained for a number of reasons. Even relationships with co-workers in some cases is no longer cooperative, instead, focusing on areas of responsibility and office politics. It seems that our relationships are now categorized by the level of conflict on any particular day.

Maintaining cordial relationships with others takes effort and compromise. You may for the sake of harmony need to ignore the occasional loud late night party next door. Knocking on the door may achieve an immediate result, but in the long term, said neighbour may cultivate some sense of resentment for your intrusion in their "fun". Realizing that not every driver is out to get you personally and shrugging off the implied disregard of someone who cuts you off in traffic may be far more productive than chasing down the offender to the other side of town just to show your irritation.

People need to make a conscience decision to make any relationship work. Without this commitment, you're doomed to fail in the long run. If a long term disruption to our normal way of life materializes, being able to manage and grow relationships will be a very useful skill indeed. When the chips are down is not he time to begin learning how to interact with others in a way that results in mutual respect, cooperation and understanding. If you need an example, just look to your teenage son or daughter when you are chastising them for some sort of errant behaviour...do you see their eyes rolling upward in a display of indifference? If you are unsatisfied with your relationships within the home, chances are your relationships outside the home need some attention too.

[What have you done today to prepare?]