For far too long, I have been thinking about the basic attitude to life. And I am convinced that life is a series of steps that is full of challenges every step of the way. Many of these challenges are a combination of circumstances, people's reaction to your behaviour (note, not response), pressure, stress, and just the journey of life itself. I am almost convinced that the supreme power above is out to test the limits of an individual in how much he/she can handle.
At times, there are experiences in life that are not a fault of the individual concerned. He/she may mean the best for others, however, the intention can be totally misread, misunderstood. This tends to result in labelling the individual into the 'not-so-good-person-to-be-with' category. And as much as the individual tries to disprove others that he did not mean any harm to them, the chances of that happening in this day and age are rather remote.
I have even seen cases where the same statement uttered by two individuals are interpreted differently i.e. the 'not-so-preferred' individual is cast in a negative light, whereas the 'preferred' folks, with the same point of view are looked at, positively. The 'not-so-preferred' individual can lose hope, confidence and a general sense of being positive, as a result of these experiences. After all, what crime did he/she do, except that his/her points of view were never accepted (especially when his/her intent behind the statement/action was the SAME as that of the 'preferred' folks).
Many of these things border on the social fabric of society. The so-called privileged few tend to forget their roots pretty easily (not all, though). They tend to forget their past struggles and in some cases, don't think twice in dismissing people who challenge them on their way. For them, their success, name & fame tend to override anything else in their lives. This, to the exclusion of everything else, such as, past friendships, past relationships et al.
There are other types of people too - the imposing variety i.e. their supreme belief that only they know everything on this planet and nobody else does. And if such people end up being in your close circuit, it hurts, quite badly at that. They sometimes tend to do it pretty softly too, when infact, they are giving you the knockout punch. Those are the ones that you really need to be careful about. What is worse is, that such people speak so smoothly, that it is rather tough to differentiate between their nice words and their malicious intent to destroy you. These could be friends, bosses, colleagues, clients, family or just about anyone; especially from the least expected quarters or the ones you have traditionally believed the most in your life.
The key to all this, I have realised, is the space between the ears. There is no need to take any nonsense from anyone, lying down in life. It’s ok to be a nice guy, but it’s NOT ok to let people bulldoze over you. The key, therefore, is that space between the ears. Be smart enough to understand that the world is not exactly a bed of roses and be smarter in identifying the thorns. Keep your balance about you, learn to give it back when people misbehave or try to knock you out in the most professional manner, and maintain your self-respect. For me, that self-respect factor, reigns supreme.
I close this piece by saying that just as people who bulldoze you or ill-treat you, tend to do that without a care in the world, does not mean that you behave in the same way. The key is to maintain your self-dignity and respect, more than anything else. After all, every dog has its day. Keep that space between the ears under control, and most things in life will be in very good control.