We picked olives with my daughter yesterday. Or rather, she played and mamma did the work. So tonight it was time to clean them. Separate those that were bad from the good ones. How do you go about doing that?
I had given the job to my husband as I was busy with cooking. When I went to have a look how it was going, I saw that he was picking up the good ones one by one and putting them aside. I said, “Why are you doing that? Just go through with your hands and pick the bad ones to toss away.”
“Did you have any doubts that we'd do it the opposite way?” said Carlo. It wasn't a question.: as we tend to somehow do things in just opposite ways in almost everything. If I like something one way, he likes it the other way. If I put something perpendicular, he puts it horizontal. No wrong or right, just opposite. Luckily, we are on the same frequency in general, our tastes that require sharing time together are common, we agree on the basics of life in the household, we hold the same moral principles.
With my remark on his olive separating, Carlo made an interesting observation from my interaction with people and the world in general: I tend to find fault with the things people do. He said: “You look for the bad, I look for the good.”
He had a point. I laughed at myself and said “You are right.” But he was missing another point:
“I am looking for the good people too, it's just that they're a rarity,” I said. “Most people are bad, or let's say miss the basics that I expect of a decent human being, so it's difficult to come across and pick out the good ones. Whereas most of our olives are good. So you need to go looking for the bad ones to put them aside, it's easier.”
It's true, I am looking for the good people too; but maybe I am not looking for the good in them. All of us have good sides; I'm sure even the most brutal ones -which luckily I have not come across,- must have at least one small good thing about them. Trouble is, I see a bad side and I don't want to live with that bad side which I now know I won't be able to accept how hard I try. I believe what I look for is not much: honesty -including being true to one's word, basic decency like responding to questions and requests, a little bit of thought and respect. When it comes to work, I expect people to do their job with due diligence. But whoever I work with, I feel they are so incapable. I know these things will be disturbing me again and again in my interaction if I keep the relation going. So it's best to avoid those conflicts and annoyances. Everybody goes their way. There is someone for everybody in this world. It's just a matter of finding the right people.
PS: I love the above artwork, I truly love it. My inner child wants to connect with the people I have fallen out with. However, it is true, I make attempts, and every time I get hurt again. So I'm not sure it's worth trying to connect. We don't need to connect, it's unreasonable to expect everyone to connect with everyone. Just hang on to those that deserve your devotion and loyalty.