On Diplomacy…

Diplomacy may be defined as the skillful art of approaching people with tact and sensitivity in order to improve mutual understanding and efficiency. No… it isn’t just for politicians.

In order to cultivate luck in our lives, we must approach others with an open mind and make sure our first instinct is one of compassion and empathy. Why? Because it is quite unlucky to live one’s life feeling misunderstood, and our mission should be to alleviate this. George Eliot, a female writer who use a male pen name in order to be heard, wrote: “What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?”

One who seeks luck must also be active in cultivating it for others. Whenever you can, open doors for the burdened, the underserved, and the unheard. Lend an ear. The greatest struggles endured by humanity often result from a lack of common diplomacy and mutual understanding. If we’ve learned anything, it is that the world cannot and should not be defined as black and white – figuratively, and quite literally. Your average fool may contest this point and claim that there are indeed absolute truths and an absolute hierarchy on the human scale of life value. Approach the fool with diplomacy… perhaps you both stand to learn something.

Life is anything but simple. The human story and condition is anything but straight-forward. It is incredibly arrogant and ignorant of us to have formed a weighted opinion about the types, ambitions, intentions, and essence of people. A simple viewpoint is always, without exception, only exposing the landscape of the mountain. If you could witness the history of every stone and pebble of sand, imagine how your perspective of the mountain would be transformed.

Human beings are so complex, they hardly have enough time in this world to get to know themselves… yet they are quick to pass general judgments and make colloquial claims about others. The paradox is baffling.

Approach everyone you meet (and everyone you don’t meet) with tact, sensitivity, and an open mind. Being diplomatic will show you that one can be right and wrong at the same time, kind and cruel at the same time, just and unjust at the same time, good and evil at the same time, worthy of hatred and love at the same time… simply put: it isn’t simple. If you think it is, you’re missing the entire picture.

Be kind to one another… even when you are unsure that someone deserves the kindness. This is how you begin cultivating good luck for yourself and for the rest of us.

And remember… we design our own luck!

M.

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