Wednesday, May 28, 2008

This One Doesn't Like That One, That One Doesn't Like This One.....

.....Can't we all just get along?

Probably not.

But at the very least, we can ignore each other and do the right thing ourselves.

This works for most little problems and personality conflicts.

Vow to leave each other alone.

So what if your co-worker wears annoying shoes that clap down the hallway? So what if your neighbor plays ethnic music in a language you can't understand? Does the food being cooked in the next office smell too strange to you? Well block your nose. It takes minimal effort.

What happens when people do not leave each other alone?

Well conflict for one. And truthfully, a little conflict isn't so bad. Conflict can bring about dialogue and solutions. But when it's senseless conflict that goes on and on and one or the other side decides that the "solution" should be yet more conflict, then there's a real problem. "Go away" sometimes doesn't work with these people--especially if it's someone like your boss.

So maybe then it's time for mediation, a neutral third party used to draw up some solutions and an agreement.

But then the agreement must be enforced.

This is where policy, law, ordinances and rules grow indispensable, as do consequences. And someone must enforce the consequences or go back and review the rules. Maybe the consequences and rules were unfair to begin with.

But I think the most important rule to live by, the one that should start it all is "live and let live."

For one day, let's not fertilize irritation by allowing every petty action or personality trait of every irritating person spawn unreasonable conflict.

It's really hard.

We humans have sensitive nerve endings. We itch over bug bites literally and metaphorically. We let little things ruin our days and keep us awake at night. What a waste of a good life, eh?

I'm not preaching. I'm not excepted from any of the "we's" I blog about. But I've learned some things are worth tuning out, no matter how difficult it may be to do that. I've learned it from myself and from my kids: "If you can't say something nice to each other, then stop talking and just eat your breakfast."

So just for today, let's smile and move on.

There are more important conflicts to resolve.

And there is more peace we can give one another simply by leaving each other alone.
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