February 11, 2017

Living Well

Every so often, someone will quote that modern proverb about how the best revenge is to live well. It's technically correct but woefully incomplete, because the best response to any situation, be it positive or negative, is to live well. Our interactions with people fall on many different parts of a spectrum. Some interactions are very positive, some are neutral and others are bad. That's just how life happens and while we wish everyone was super polite and cheerful, it is not to be. Sometimes the interaction is bad enough that appropriate authorities need to be alerted or summoned, but such drastic situations are still mercifully infrequent.

If you've ever been in a position to lead people, you will be fully aware that you really can't tell people what to do. This seems obvious with volunteers, but to a very great extent, it is also true of employees. If an employee doesn't want to do what the boss asks, they'll do anything, from hide, to take sick days to just plain quit on the spot. You really can't make anyone do anything. The only person who we can have any control over is ourselves.

Therefore, we should concern ourselves little with seeking to affect other people's lives and rather concentrate on guiding our own life as well as we may. You have the liberty to set the tone of your life. If you wish to live in an environment of respect and dignity, then start behaving that way towards everyone that you meet or interact with. They may decide to treat you poorly, but you have no control over them anyway. Simply choose to interact with them the least amount possible and continue on with your choice to act with respect and dignity.

Within the bounds of random chance, you are the author of your life story, so remember to proceed as you have chosen and do not let others direct the plot twists for you. Write your life story as a success. Write a mighty tale where good deeds are done and brave decisions get made. In short, live well. Given that the alternative is not attractive, who wouldn't want to live well.

As for the precise definition of living well, that will be the matter for another time.

Tags: Writings Living Well Personal