Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~
As I walked the Red Dog Estate after work, Maggie was wandering her territory and checking for new smells. While she was busy I captured this image of one of many Paperwhite blossoms in the yard. They arrived in my yard as bulbs from plants that my great grandmother grew long before I came into the world. As I pondered the beauty of nature, my mind wandered to the differences between the world we live in and what we, as the human race, turn the world into through our quest for money, power, control, or what occupies one’s time and desires, good or bad. Nature is very complex but at the same time quite simple. In the animal kingdom there are no gray areas. It is about surviving each day. As my mind continued to wander, I noticed that Sally had ventured into the front yard. Sally, being the older dog, does not like Maggie trying to heard her around the yard like a lost sheep. Maggie, on the other hand, just wants Sally to play with her. As I watched the two interact, and once again I encouraged Sally to play, she just ignored Maggie’s attempts to run with her through the yard. Eventually, with Maggie distracted by who knows what, Sally made a bee line for the backyard at full speed. Now the running lost sheep came back into Maggie’s focus and the race was on. Maggie and Sally are very honest in their relationship. Several hours later and they are curled up sleeping next to each other on the couch. It is an interesting dynamic to observe.
My assignment at work has me working with a team that is somewhat dysfunctional. In the 18 months that I have been on the project we have had three project engineers. The first retired several months into the assignment. The second was asked to consider working on another project which really meant that he would be changing assignments. My present boss and I served together as part of a group of Ombudsmen (at least three of the six years I was on the list). The transition for me was easy and the rest of the team is coming along.
In a dysfunctional relationship, whether it be work, social, as a volunteer, or with family, there is a lot of talking that goes on behind everyone’s backs. It is usually slanted at best and lies at its worst. I personally strive to take the high road, keep my nose to the grindstone (also known as staying under the RADAR…which is an acronym, but I digress), while steering the conversation to working as a team. If I hear that someone is not happy with my performance, I will approach the individual one-on-one and seek a better understanding of how we can work together as a team. Experience has proven that there will always be one person, that no matter how hard one tries, that will not like you.
The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, But the mouth of fools feeds on foolishness.
~ Solomon ~
Over the years I have learned not to discuss anything that I would not be willing to say directly to an individual. Those who spread gossip, or outright lies, will eventually be discovered for who they are and their circle of friends and/or co-workers will become very small at best. If you are fortunate, they will eventually move on to greener pastures.
A liar will not be believed, even when he speaks the truth.
~ Aesop ~