How I (try to) Deal With People

How I (try to) Deal With People

In church we teach our kids a simple song that has taken on much more significance for me as I’ve grown older. It’s very short:

Jesus said love ev’ryone;

Treat them kindly, too.

When your heart is filled with love,

Others will love you.

— Moiselle Renstrom 1889-1956

What I love about this song is that it’s not at all vague about how you should treat people. Let’s try a few questions. For example, should I love people who have different political views?

Jesus said love ev’ryone;

But surely not people who think things that I think are good are bad, or people who think that things I think are bad are good!

love ev’ryone;

Okay but what about…

ev’ryone

Okay, I should love ev’ryone..er, everyone. But, that can mean, like, tough love, right? Like, love the sinner hate the sin, right? Scare ’em straight.

treat them kindly, too.

ah, okay, true. No scaring people straight. Just love everyone and treat them kindly.

But, I mean, that can’t actually work, right? the world will just stomp me into the ground.

When your  heart is filled with love

Others will love you.

…Naaaaaaah, it can’t be that simple.

Winning friends begins with friendliness. –Dale Carnegie

Wait, what are you doing here, Dale Carnegie?

The legendary French aviation pioneer and author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry wrote: “I have no right to say or do anything that diminishes a man in his own eyes. What matters is not what I think of him, but what he thinks of himself. Hurting a man in his dignity is a crime.” –Dale Carnegie

And you brought a friend? Okay, if a primary song, Dale Carnegie and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry all agree, I guess I can give it a shot.

So this is how I try to deal with people. I’m not perfect at it, of course I’m not. But I’m happier now than I was when I was trying to keep the world at arm’s length through cynicism and sarcasm.

 

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