Sometimes I wonder if we ever grow up, or if we are just children in bigger bodies. In addition to pondering this topic because of seasonal activities, I was reading the morning headlines the other day and it talked about how the US was planning some tariffs, which could result in a tit-for-tat trade war. I understand the concept of credit card fees, loan fees, repayment schedules, jail, probation, time outs, restrictions, trial runs, and contracts, just to name a few. We need rules and guidelines to make this world run without everyone doing whatever they want, to make sure that no one is persecuted or abused, and give everyone access to freedoms (unless they prove they’re not able to respect them). There’s really no such thing as a free ride, and we should be better at accepting that the only guarantees in life are death, taxes and change.
Getting back to the topic for today, there are different ways of dealing with things that don’t go our way or don’t go as expected. There’s the pointing finger, childishly high voice, throwing dirt way of telling on someone or dealing with a problem, and then there’s the mostly calm and rational discussion and negotiation option. A company may advertise that a product is back in stock, but there are limits to everything and a company certainly can’t guarantee unlimited supplies of a season’s most popular product, food or beverage, regardless of how much people may request it, or the tantrums they throw when it’s not available.
Bottom line, tit-for-tat rarely works out in anyone’s favor. Most often it ends up in more hurt feelings, more damage to undo and a mountain of new problems that weren’t there in the first place. There’s nothing wrong with going after what you want or what you think is right, or standing up for what you believe in. But if you’re really working towards a better future for not just yourself and your family but those you share the planet with, you can’t let hurt feelings, any sense of entitlement or inflated pride take a starring role in the efforts. The next time you think about doing tit for tat, think twice about how it could come flying back in your face.