I grew up with two brothers. One was older than me, the other younger. We were all separated by one year intervals, so we grew up fairly close in age. This, of course, meant that we fought…a lot. Being the middle son, it seems that I was always in the middle of one of the fights. My older, and my younger, brothers seldom fought amongst each other.
My dad, knew that boys, would be boys, and he did not interfere with most of our squabbles (unless something got broke, then we all got spanked). But, woe to the child that started something then came running to him for help. His answer to that kid (usually me), was always firm; “If you’re man enough to dish it out, you better be man enough to take it! There is nothing worse than someone who can dish it out, but can’t take it!”
These words are the wisdom by which I live my life. They taught me quite a few things such as: taking responsibility for my actions, empathy for others, and that what ever I did to someone else, I had better be able to take when someone did it to me.
These three things are the cornerstone of our interpersonal relationships. Those who have learned, and follow them, are well adjusted, and normally get along with others. Those who haven’t learned them are maladjusted, and unpopular. Nobody wants to associate with someone who can’t “play well” with others.
We all know some of these “don’t play well with others” type of people. These folks feel that they have Carte Blanch to do, or say, anything they want to others; but are quick to take offense when someone responds in kind to them. Perhaps they just don’t realize that their behavior is churlish, and childish. Maybe they just aren’t smart enough to grasp the lessons most others mastered in elementary school.
Perhaps they weren't lucky enough to have a dad like mine.