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On healthy human relationships



   One of the most important things in life is getting along with 
   other people.  This calls for dealing with people in the right 
   way.  Most of us intuitively know how to conduct ourselves in 
   order to get along with other people -- the kinds of things to 
   do and the kinds of things we must not do.  Mostly it comes 
   down to the Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you would have them 
   do unto you."

   The wise man values peace.  He is a man of peace.  He avoids 
   argument and strife and tries to get along.  Being at peace 
   with our fellow human beings, harmony in human relations, is 
   very important in life.  One can do constructive things in life 
   through cooperating with others, through peace and harmony with 
   others.  Strife, discord, contention is destructive to 
   accomplishing anything.  Everyone needs peace and harmony to 
   function well.  So whether we are talking about the home or the 
   workplace, it is hard to overvalue the importance of peaceful, 
   harmonious relationships with others.   And what underlies 
   good, healthy personal relationships?  Kind, honest, polite, 
   courteous, respectful treatment of others.  Treating them as 
   you would wish to be treated yourself.  Whether you are at 
   home dealing with your spouse or your children or at work 
   dealing with co-workers it is important to be courteous, to say 
   "Thank you" and "Please"; to treat people with consideration 
   and respect; to be sensitive to their feelings.  It is 
   important to ever exercise control over your mouth, even when 
   angry.  There are some kinds of things you just don't say or 
   do.

   There are people who treat others abusively.  They may do it in 
   anger, frustration or impatience.  A husband or wife may do it 
   to their spouse, a parent to a child, a boss to an employee.  
   There are some people who just use other people badly by habit.  
   They may habitually put people down, insult them, ridicule 
   them, contradict them, humiliate them, etc.  The wise man knows 
   such behavior doesn't pay.  He treats everyone courteously -- 
   by principle and habit.  Most people understand that general 
   rudeness, impoliteness, impertinence, insolence, or impudence 
   doesn't pay.  It will just give you enemies and give nothing 
   good in return.  People who do it perhaps get some satisfaction 
   in doing it.  It may make them feel good, boost their ego.  But 
   from a practical viewpoint the behavior is foolish.  The person 
   who does it gets nothing but possibly some momentary pleasure 
   and gains an enemy.  Going around creating enemies and general 
   dislike is not prudent behavior.  It catches up to one in the 
   end.  We are all too dependent on others to engage in that kind 
   of behavior.  It is the behavior of a fool.  It just doesn't 
   pay to go around hurting and insulting people.  And the wise 
   man knows that even if someone treats you badly, attacks or 
   insults you, the wise way is not to strike back; to control 
   your tongue.  He also knows that one can be absolutely right 
   about a thing and the other person absolutely wrong, but one 
   must still be very careful about confronting him or telling him 
   that.

   A wise man controls his words, says much less than he thinks.  
   He may see.  He may think.  But, mostly, he doesn't say.  The 
   wise man avoids argument.  He knows that argument never changes 
   anyone's mind, never accomplishes anything useful; that its end 
   result is invariably only a negative one: ill will.  He is 
   cautious, very careful, about criticism.  He knows that it is 
   very delicate and dangerous work and very rarely accomplishes 
   anything useful or good.  In general, he is very careful of 
   another person's feelings and ego, understanding the dangers 
   involved in dealing with them.  He understands the importance 
   of diplomacy and tact, whether in one's own home or with 
   strangers.

   Getting along with people calls for humility, understanding, 
   unselfishness, patience, self-control and flexibility.  It also 
   generally calls for overlooking a lot of faults and accepting 
   people as they are. 


   Dec 2004


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