The art of human encounter

During my last year of high school, my favorite teacher gave us a quiz.. I was a conscientious student and had answered all through the questions very carefully, until I read the last one: “What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?”

Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was short, dark-haired and in her 50s, but how would I know her name?

I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank..

Before class ended, one student asked if the last question would be counted to our quiz grade.

“Absolutely,” said the teacher. “In your careers you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say ‘hello’.”

I’ve never forgotten that lesson..

                In life, you will have to encounter many different people. You will realize that there is a purpose for every one of them. Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you. But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.

Here are some ways of dealing with people you meet along the way..

Respect elders. Respect minors. Respect everyone. – There are no boundaries or classes that define a group of people that deserve to be respected. Treat everyone with the same level of respect you would give to your grandfather and the same level of patience you would have with your baby brother. Respect is the recipe to kindness. Be kind to the people in your way up, you will have to meet them in your way down. People will rarely remember what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel.

Relationships must be chosen wisely. – It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company. There’s no need to rush. If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. But that doesn’t mean you should reject new relationships just because old ones didn’t work. Establish a relationship when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely. So stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons. Don’t let loneliness drive you back into the arms of someone you know you don’t belong with. A great relationship is worth waiting for.

Don’t let others bring you down to their level. – Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs. Learn to say “No.” and just do whatever your heart believes to be right.

Let go of needless drama and those who create it. – Never create unnecessary issues, and don’t surround yourself with those who do.  Choose friends who you are proud to know, people you admire, who love and respect you – people who make your day a little brighter simply by being in it. Don’t walk away from negative people, RUN! Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you. You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot. Never insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth. And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true allies.

Ignore other people’s negativity. – If you allow people to make more withdrawals than deposits in your life, you will be out of balance and in the negative before you know it. Ignore unconstructive, hurtful commentary. They may have heard your stories, but they didn’t feel what you were going through unless they have been in your situation. You do not have control over what others say, but you do have control over whether or not you allow yourself to get affected to what they have to say. You alone can deny their poisonous words from invading your heart and mind.

Credit the deeds not the words. -you are going to come across someone in your life who will say all the right words at all times. But in the end it’s always their actions that should define their worth and value, not the words that matters.

Forgive those who have hurt you. – Stop holding grudges. Don’t live your life with hate in your heart. You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate. Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.” It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.” Forgiving people doesn’t mean trusting them again. Forgiveness is the answer. let go, find peace. Don’t have time to hate people who hurt you but rather be busy loving people who love you. The first to apologize is the bravest. The first to forgive is the strongest. The first to move forward is the happiest. Be brave. Be strong. Be happy.

Recognize those who love you. – The most cherished people in your life are the ones who loved you when you weren’t very loveable. Pay attention to these people and love them back, even when they aren’t acting loveable. Sometimes we don’t notice the things others do for us until they stop doing them. Don’t be like that. Be grateful for what you have, who loves you, and who cares for you. Appreciate great people in your life. You’ll never know how much they mean to you until the day they’re no longer beside you. While you may, cherish every moment you are able to spend with them and let them know how much they mean to you more often.

Learn to let go. – People in our lives easily come and go. We are not so certain about until when they could stay. The person you thought that was destined to accompany you might not really meant to stay for long. Learn to detach yourself or at least don’t get too attached, so that someday when they’re gone it won’t take you eternity just to let go. Everyone always leaves, It’s just a matter of time.

We are let down by the most trusted persons and loved by the most unexpected ones. Some makes us cry for things that we haven’t done while some ignore all our faults just to see us smile. Some leaves us when we need them the most and some stick to us even when we ask them to leave. World is a mixture of such people. We just need to know which hand to shake and which hand to hold.

                Be thankful for everyone you encounter. Unpleasant people give you lessons and make you stronger. Nice ones make the journey worthwhile. Life is indeed a continuous process of meeting and losing people. As what my favorite teacher once said “All people you meet are significant.” No one is a self-made man. Everyone who has ever crossed our path has entered to the make-up of who we are today, simply by being the people along the way.

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