Photo taken by the author
“Here lies one who knew how to get around him men who were cleverer than himself.”
– Andrew Carnegie
Up to this point, I have been speaking of those things we would like to get done in our lives, but this approach, or saying, of “people are always the problem and people are always the solution” also applies to relationships. Primarily, I am talking about interpersonal relationships, when two or more people are involved. By way of example, let’s take the time when two people who haven’t seen each other in a while decide to get together to meet for a coffee and catch up. This seemingly simple act involves organization and coordination, on both parties, in order to bring a meeting time to fruition. Let’s step inside this meeting set-up, each step of the way. First, one person will usually send the other person a text, or a phone call, expressing their intent to meet up for a coffee in the near future, say in the next couple of weeks. As it has been a while since either person saw the other, there may be an exchange of word’s in relationship building, namely seeing how the other person is doing and what they have been up to. It’s a kind of friendly exchange, if you will.
From here, the other person receives the text and responds, saying something to the effect of “yes, let’s meet up!” There is a mutual agreement reached between both parties in getting together, at some point over the next few weeks. Next comes the arrangement of when and where to meet up. At this stage, one person looks at their schedule and availability and suggests a few possible dates and times for when they are free, to which the other person either selects one of those dates that works for him or her, or suggests other dates that may better work for them. After this back-and-forth dialogue of the place and time to meet up, there is an agreement on where to meet up and what date and time to be there for. At this point, each person then puts this time into their calendar, as a kind of saving-the-date, and more of a reminder so they actually do show up when the day comes.
Then when the day arrives, both parties meet up at the predetermined location at the agreed upon time. As a courtesy in terms of diplomatic, human relations, one person may usually offer to buy the other person a coffee, and possibly add the line, “would you like anything to eat as well?” At this point the decision is on the one receiving this question. This person may choose to accept or not to accept, or offer to buy in return. Either way, both people grab their drink & food item and sit down somewhere in the establishment. Then, both friends chat for a while and get caught up with one another. As for duration, their time together normally lasts anywhere around the one hour mark, but can be as short as say half an hour or up to the one-and-a-half or two hour mark, depending on how much there is to catch up on and if one or both people have another commitment afterwards. Then in closing, both parties agree not to wait so long until the next time they see each other and agree to meet up again sometime soon in the future. After the meet-up, both people leave feeling rejuvenated and excited from their interaction together.
“All virtue is summed up in dealing justly.”
What I have just explained involves at least an eight step process, from beginning to end, of two people who wish to get together and reconnect. If at any point, one or more of these steps is missed or not followed through on, then the rest of the process can not be completed or is at least delayed until that current step is completed. This is called a breakdown of communication in interpersonal relations. Now, just imagine if there are more than two people involved and instead of there being a coffee meet up, the occasion is for an evening party. As you can see, the number of people increases the complexity of steps involved as well as the people to communicate with and hear a response from. This in turn can put a lot of stress and pressure on the person organizing the party. Now some people are more natural at hosting a party than others; that is, they have a talent at being able to organize and facilitate a large group of people in coming together to connect. This ability is one in which all or most of the people invited actually want to be there as they know from prior experiences, or parties, that it will be a fun time.
I realize this philosophy of ‘people are always the problem and people are always the solution’, can also be extended to other area’s of life as well. In other words, whenever people are involved this saying holds true. The important thing to remember is that anytime there is something we want to do or get done, at one point or another, there are other human being’s involved at one stage or another. Bearing this in mind, there is always the potential for one of two ways this interaction can go: either not-so-well or very well. It all depends on who is involved, what is trying to be accomplished, and the style of leadership offered. I offer this philosophy as food for thought for the next time you encounter a situation involving people.