Why Bother Living Peaceably With Others?

I know people who love dogs more than humans and I also know people who live off the grid in order to exclude themselves from other people as much as possible. I understand the complexities of getting along with other people, but when we exclude ourselves from the community of humanity, we miss the only opportunity we have to be transformed by others.

It is when people are around other people, learning how to get along with each other that transformation takes place.

    As Far As It Depends on You

We are mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, aunts, uncles, coworkers, bosses, and neighbors. If we don’t hide ourselves away, isolate or banish ourselves from the human race, then we are involved with a variety of people in various ways. 

Sometimes, we have no choice but to involve ourselves with other people whose personalities, habits and ideas are much more different from ours than they are alike. 

For instance, while growing up, I was surrounded by my siblings, all with varying personalities, habits, and ideas. Since they were my brothers and sisters, and because my mother told me to, I had to learn how to live peaceably with them. 

I taught myself to wait my turn to use the bathroom because others took much longer than me to do their business. I shared the dinner table with those who talked with their mouths full and those who didn’t talk at all. Then there was the experience of sharing a bedroom with my messy sister who, after trying on an assortment of outfits before choosing one to wear to school, left her clothes all over the room. 

Then, whether it was doing the dishes or raking the yard, working alongside my siblings was never an easy task. Not everyone enjoyed doing chores. Sometimes, they’d disappear saying they needed to go to the bathroom, but never returning to complete the chore we were assigned. Other times while working together, they’d whine and complain the whole time about how unfair it was that they had to do the chore, with me.  

No, it was not easy growing up with six siblings whose personalities, ideas and habits differed from mine, but rubbing shoulders with them taught me a few things.

First of all, we are each unique individuals with differences that do not necessarily need to divide us. Secondly, it is possible to adjust ourselves to each other so that we can live in a semblance of peace with each other. 

Living peaceably does take a bit of effort though. For instance, to get along with others, we need to let go of our snobbishness, stop thinking more highly of ourselves than we should, and as much as possible, live in such a way that others won’t find fault with us. 

Why bother living peaceably with others? When we live peaceably with others, others have the opportunity to add to our lives changing, transforming and restyling us into something more beautiful.  

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