There are no fixed rules for living. If you’re lucky, you’ll get some clues along the way. Even if you do your best to live an honest and fair yet fulfilling life, not all people are like you. The office gossip, the rude coworker, the unscrupulous boss, the drunk driver, the toxic friend, the desperate crook—there’s always that possibility that you’ll meet one or two really bad eggs along the way. And that’s speaking kindly.
All this, however, is not to make a skeptic out of you. These are simple ideas and suggestions to help you live the life you want: quiet, peaceful, and fulfilling.
Treat others with fairness
Do your best to live a life of fairness. Teach your kids to live the same way. You can influence others, but do not preach to them. Live it, don’t preach it. When wedged between two bad choices and walking away is not one of them, choose the one that won’t keep you awake at night.
But don’t turn the other cheek
Really? Turn the other cheek? Martyrdom is not for those who like a fair and honest life; you still have to live your life among others. Martyrdom is for those who are too weak to do anything, or for those who have developed a twisted liking for punishment. If someone treats you bad, walk away. If you can’t, calmly assert your rights. Sometimes, however, calm doesn’t cut it. But try not to blow your top. If there is a legal option, take it. For example, your insurance provider is trying to wiggle out of their responsibility by pointing out some vague reference to some unconnected fine print on the contract—essentially breaching their own contract—call a bad faith lawyer in LA and set things right. You wouldn’t try to cheat, so why should they get away with it?
Don’t sweat the small things
You shouldn’t let anyone take advantage of you, but if you’re facing a fight or flight choice, think about the consequences. Are you losing something important besides a little bit of your ego? If not, then don’t worry about it. Just leave. If you worry about everything, react to everything thrown your way, your blood pressure will shoot up and you’ll be the worse for it. You can’t solve the world’s problems or change someone’s attitude with one reaction.
Living a life of kindness, fairness, and fulfillment is possible. Just don’t expect other people to do the same. What you can do is to prepare yourself for whatever comes, and in time you’ll learn how to respond to almost anything that comes your way.