Shootin' the Breeze

and random targets

What’s In It For ME?

     Sugar is LinkedIn.  I am not.  Sugar shared with me an article that upset her.  It is called “People You Don’t Need In Your Life.”
     The article is well-written.  In fairness, I think it is intended to warn about the dangers of certain relationships in the workplace with people who do not help you in your quest for success in the business world.
     Sugar did not like it because of the selfish attitude that seems to imply that one should associate only with people who benefit you.  She pointed out that Jesus did not follow that path.  He ministered to the unsavory.  What was in it for Him?
     I agree that there are people who are negative influences.  You don’t want your kids to be in a gang.  You encourage them to have nice friends.  It is true that people seldom have a neutral effect on us.  Either they are a good influence or a bad influence, I suppose.
      Nevertheless, there are people in our lives, especially family members and long-time friends, who should not be cut out of our lives because they do not benefit us.  Maybe we learn from their mistakes.  Maybe we simply owe them respect, like being kind to the drunk uncle at the Christmas table.
     There is something wonderful about loyalty.  There is something repulsive about selfishness.
     I read a story that you might have read.  It is about a man who came to visit his wife, who had dementia,  at a nursing home each day.  He had to take the bus.  He came even in bad weather.  One particularly cold and stormy day, one of the nursing home employees said to the man, “Don’t bother coming in such bad weather.  She does not even know if you are here.”  And the loyal husband said, “But I know.”
     A while back, I wrote about what the family of a profoundly disabled child “got out of” their relationship with her.  See link below.

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5 thoughts on “What’s In It For ME?

  1. I’ve read articles like this and I’m with Miss Sugar: it really is a selfish attitude, the sentiment that I can’t give unless I get something equal in return.

    As you say, there are times when we do support someone else — because of commitment, respect, or simple kindness. If we feel they are getting to be dependent and demanding, it’s best if we can find a way to toss the ball into their court. “If you want to continue our friendship, you’ll need to…”

    Jesus was an expert at tossing the ball back into someone’s court. Then they either committed to follow Him or went away discouraged, but He left the choice to them. He was there if they wanted to find Him but He didn’t chase anyone, begging for their attention or acceptance.

    We get into trouble sometimes when we have a deep inner need to be needed, and invite dependency, then resent people when they suffocate us.

  2. Good points. Thank you for your thoughtful comments. I am certainly not saying all relationships are healthy or must be continued at all costs. The article that upset Sugar and me just seemed selfish, as you saw as well. Jesus was good at relationships and did not use others. He did and does leave a choice. Also, the father of the prodigal son did not go out looking for him but welcomed him home when that son chose to return.

  3. I am with Miss Sugar on this one as well. The article implies that knowing/interacting with people on the job that can’t further your ambitions is something to be avoided. It reflects the sort of self centeredness that you see a lot of in today’s industry.

    I believe that sometimes, when we come across difficult people, it is more about us and the choices we make because we came across them than it is about them. That is something I learned from our handicapped son. I have also learned that I need a lot of work in that regard…

  4. Same as the ‘as long as I’m alright Jack’ mentality.

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