Live and Let Live

“There will always be war, famine & poverty as long as anyone believes that he has the right to impose his will on another.” I wrote that on Twitter a few weeks back and it seemed to resonate with some people. That sentence is my conclusion of what people like you and I must commit to if we want there to be a future for our children and grandchildren. I believe that only when we understand that we must persuade others to our point of view, rather than impose our “wisdom” on the world through law or otherwise people will not truly respect one another.
My son also taught me a lot about the kid’s viewpoint when he explained why children reacted in certain ways to their parent’s demands. I know that he’s only eleven but he sure opens my eyes sometimes. Although I believe in universal respect for all life that also means that I justifiably expect that respect from others. To me “Live and Let Live” is not another word for passivism though some may choose to see it that way. In fact because I respect others I have no problem reacting to others who openly disrespect me. In other words, it’s a two-way street.
I once heard about a game theory experiment that proved the most successful approach to dealing with others is to always lead with an agreeable attitude in any transaction but then to mirror whatever response that you get from them.
So for example, if you meet someone always greet them with openness and warmth. If they respond to your opening with aggression then you are free to respond in kind. Hopefully they will eventually figure out that only by treating you with respect can they expect the same in return.
In truth I often just blow off idiots who treat me poorly because they may just be baiting me or they just aren’t worth the energy. I am really talking about reacting to those serious challenges to the life and health of you and your family.
When someone poses a clear threat I respond in kind. I always want to be sure that I have the power and skills necessary to defend myself and my family no matter what.
However I always try to greet others with respect no matter how they might initially appear and I imagine that what might look threatening at first glance is often just the idiosyncratic personalities of others. This approach does away with crude prejudice based on appearance or instant impressions.
I make people prove that they are idiots. I always assume that they are friends. My approach does not amount to surrender of my well being to the whims of any idiot who might come along.
When I interact with other I endeavor to “speak softly, but carry a big stick.” In my attitude towards the rest of the world it is “Live and Let Live.”
I believe that it is important to understand your own unique approach to the world. How else can I communicate my views to my kids if I don’t?
What is your unique approach to the world?

Author's Bio: 

Hugh DeBurgh, The Passionate Warrior, has dedicated his life to the achievement of the ultimate family lifestyle. You can find him writing about Creative Family Lifestyle Design over at his blog, The Way of the Passionate Warrior. Currently he is on the second leg of a worldwide travel adventure with his wife and four young children. His blog is at .