It’s been said that the clearer you are about what you value and believe the happier you are. If we accept that statement as true, we as a country, seem to be some of the unhappiest people on Earth. Are we even clear about what makes us unhappy let alone angry?
It used to be so simple. You believed what you were taught in school and did what your parents told you to do. There may not have been total agreement, but there was total respect. Parents expected their children to behave in a socially responsible way and follow the rules.
As children, we accepted that belief and it became our value. People were safe in their neighborhoods because if it wasn’t yours, you didn’t take it. Keys were left in cars with the windows rolled down in every driveway. It worked because the belief was that people could be trusted and your “stuff ” would be safe. Doors to homes were unlocked for the same reason, it was an outrageous thought that anyone would dare enter a home uninvited.
Giving someone personal space wasn’t something that you thought about, it was simply something you did. In a restaurant voice tones were kept low so that you didn’t “disturb” anyone. When two people approached each other on a sidewalk, they both moved over to ensure that the other person had plenty of space. Having a difference of opinion may have involved a vigorous conversation but it ended with both people having a good laugh.
So what’s the point of all of this reminiscence? There was a time when we valued the other person’s rights, property and space just as we did our own. As unique and civilized as Naples is, our challenge is to remain sensitive and value those same components of life. It’s easy to get caught up in things where emotions run high. But take a minute to evaluate if you are meeting your needs at the expense of someone else.
Ask if you can reject an idea without rejecting the person. Do you place the same value on another’s space as you do your own? I guess the bottom line is, is anything so important that it’s worth fracturing relationships?
Is anything so important that we live with an undercurrent of animosity?
Keep Naples what it is today by dwelling on commonalities not differences.
Until next time…