A politician divides mankind into two classes: tools and enemies.
It’s easy to dump on politicians.
But not all politicians run for office or work in government jobs.
You and I can easily find ourselves thinking like politicians.
When we meet someone, our brain starts running through the possible ways that person can help us.
We seek out people who can make connections for us.
When we do spend time with people who could never help us, it feels like charity.
With these natural tendencies, it is easy to start seeing people as tools to be used.
We instinctively understand the law of reciprocity: if we give to others they will likely reciprocate.
It’s like money in the bank. When we need a favor, we can draw on the balance — assuming it’s positive.
We tend to keep a running tally of what we owe others and what they owe us.
It is written that love keeps no record of wrongs.
An even higher standard is to keep no record at all.
Of course, this standard is so high that it is just beyond our reach.
We can never escape some degree of self-interest in our motivation.
The problem is when self-interest becomes our only motivation or nearly so.
However, if we’re consistently helping others, it won’t be difficult to find help when we need it.
Let’s be clear.
· We don’t help others to earn their respect.
· We don’t help others to build our self-worth.
· We don’t help others to feel important.
Yes, it is rewarding and fulfilling to help others.
But we need to treat others as individuals who have hopes, dreams, and fears, not as pawns to be moved around on our chessboard.
What does it mean to connect with others at that level?
· We celebrate their success with authentic joy.
· We tell the truth, even when it works against our interests.
· When the truth is hard to hear, we tell it with compassion and empathy.
· We listen to what they say and not just wait for them to take a breath so we can talk.
Politicians try to fake all these things. That’s why we don’t trust them.
Real connection takes more energy and more time.
But it is the fastest and most efficient way to a rich, fulfilling life.
Now available at Amazon: The Courageous Heart: Wisdom for Difficult Times in paperback and eBook.