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Live to Learn;Learn to Live

Updated on October 19, 2014

Being human

Our basic human needs are food and shelter. As humans are social beings most of us thrive to some extent or another on healthy relationships with other people. This is an individual thing and there are differences between us in terms of the amount of human contact we prefer to have. When our needs are met in this regard we have contentment provided of course that we have the food and shelter in the first place!

I am a firm believer that one should be one's own best friend. I lived alone happily for about ten years once and I have to say that at that time I liked interacting with others but actually preferred my own company most of the time. Even though my circumstances have changed now that I am married with children I still like my own company some of the time and I am a firm believer that happiness comes from within and contentment can be achieved even in adverse circumstances.

Furthermore, I have a very clear definition of the difference between right and wrong . Sometimes there are just no grey areas but sometimes we have to take circumstances into account in understanding our own behavior and that of others Learning to live in the world with a black and white attitude was a challenge and I have learned from experience that it is sometimes better not to be so rigid and make allowances for myself and others -this is an easier option all round.

Learning to live

Even though we are adults we are learning from our experiences every day. We have no choice about that. What we do have a choice about is what we choose to learn. Even if we have a negative experience in our dealings with another person we have a choice about how we deal with it. In my experience, the only thing to do in these circumstances is to avoid the person who has wronged us. This is not always possible if that person is in our family circle or in our workplace. In an ideal world one could just be selective about one's company and all would be well. Sometimes,the only choice we have is how to handle it. We can choose to waste our energy being disappointed in the person who has wronged us. Instead we can think of ways to deal with that person differently in the future so that they do not get the opportunity to wrong us again. This is the challenge and choice open to us and it is what learning to live and living to learn is all about.

Another challenge here is not to take such treatment personally. The person who is treating us badly has their own agenda for doing so. That agenda belongs to them and has nothing to do with us even if we are on the receiving end of their unreasonable behavior. Accepting this fact is a learning process which is worthwhile for it's own sake

Self respect

This is the basic problem if there is a breakdown in communication or disagreement between people. We are all obliged to live and let live but only some of us do it. It is my experience that sometimes some people covet other people's self-respect. If someone does not have self-respect, it causes them to try to undermine some-one who does have it. It causes them to try and impose their will on others even when it is unreasonable and wrong to do so. Once again, the best thing to do is to avoid these kinds of people and keep better company and once again it is not always practical for one to do so.

If someone in my life who compromises my self-respect because (s)he doesn't have any of their own I tell them that this is the case. In this way,I don't give the unreasonable person a chance to dump their baggage on me.This actually works on a practical level as well making it possible to have honest and healthy relationships.

However, it is worth repeating that it is better not to deal with people like that at all. There are plenty of sensible folk in the world to interact with instead.

Say what you mean and mean what you say.

It is beyond my comprehension why so many people cannot or will not do the above. The only thing that is different about us and other primates is the power of speech. There is simply so much misunderstanding and lack of communication in the world in general that it is beyond belief.

Even some people whose communication skills are otherwise good cannot and will not say what they mean and mean what they say. I have neither patience or tolerance for this because it causes so much unnecessary confusion and bother. I make every effort to overcome this lack of tolerance and patience but there is no need for me to do so. Everyone is capable of saying what they mean and meaning what they say but everyone doesn't do it because they simply don't want to and it suits those folk better to be awkward instead of straightforward.


It is important to know that there is no need or no point in being manipulated by another person's agenda. Some of us don't have an agenda but those who do have a need to impose it on others.

For example,if someone is criticizing (s)he has to be doing nothing to have time to criticize. The person that is being criticized is always doing something to be being criticized.

Which one are you??


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    • Kate Mc Bride profile image

      Kate McBride 4 years ago from Donegal Ireland

      And time is the most precious thing we have DDE. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Live to Learn;Learn to Live so true about what you say here sometimes people are rude and try to impose on others they have the time and others don't but somehow these people don't see how they are taking up ones time.

    • Kate Mc Bride profile image

      Kate McBride 4 years ago from Donegal Ireland

      There is a lot of wisdom in what you have written here betteremotions and I'm glad you liked the hub. I especially like the bit about forgiving people because we are all in different places and I do believe they mean no harm-it is just where they are. As you know it is important to be as positive as possible and a good sense of humour helps. Thanks again for your feedback and taking the time to do it. Cheers,


    • profile image

      Better Emotions 4 years ago

      Nice Hub, Kate!

      It is so true when you say that some people have their own agenda and they try to impose it on you. They manipulate you and they try to drag you into their own little games only for their own benefit and they are not at all considerate about how it may hurt us.

      Very important to stay away from such people but as you say it is not always possible. The best way is to forgive such people but never forget how they are and what they did to you. Stay alert and try to read the real intention behind their actions and words, and protect yourself. If you are able to understand their games you are in a better state to protect yourself.

      No need to harm the other person. But definitely necessary to protect yourself.

      Live to learn and try becoming better all the time. Glad to have read this hub.

    • Kate Mc Bride profile image

      Kate McBride 4 years ago from Donegal Ireland

      Glad you liked the hub Denise and I really do believe that is true. Some people insist on pushing their own agenda and it can be tiresome. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      I like the part that says when someone else is having issues, it is their problem and not ours. If I can tell myself that whenever I deal with a difficult person, my life will be much better!

    • Kate Mc Bride profile image

      Kate McBride 4 years ago from Donegal Ireland

      Thank you for your feedback Chitrangada Sharan. I tried to put as positive a spin as possible on the topic. You make a very good point about getting on with our lives and not wasting time on things that upset us.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 4 years ago from New Delhi, India

      A very interesting read indeed! I enjoyed your hub and the underlying thought, 'Live and Let others Live.' I truly agree and believe in this principle of life. Moreover there is so much to do that one should not waste our energy, worrying about those matters which upset us.

      One has to move on and we must move on.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!