A comment, a look, not hearing or understanding what was said…these are examples of things that can create friction or misunderstanding among individuals. It happens and often the person most affected has no clue other than his/her observations that something has “changed”…but what and more importantly, why?

Passing judgement on someone, pointing fingers, making false accusations, jumping to conclusions, asking everyone but the one who should be asked can all lead to hurt feelings and confusion. Friendships, work environments, are strained and sometimes damaged beyond repair. The mental stress that is created can weigh heavily on the mind and is hard to forget; sometimes impossible to forget. Actions or lack of and most importantly the lack of communication can cause irreparable damage and that is so unfortunate because it can be avoided.

The environment in which we live has become so caustic. So many people seem to be in a defense mode much of the time trying to protect their turf, their space, their feelings of self-worth. What happened to focusing on the problem at hand and working together to solve the problem? Where has the trust gone? Have we become an “it’s all about me” society?

Colleagues working together for a common cause can achieve so much. Colleagues who are suspicious of others with whom they work can achieve very little. It is so easy to jump to conclusions or misinterpret what an individual said or didn’t say, did or didn’t do. The saga begins and often it is one-sided because the individual is clueless as to what is happening. How sad this is when adults forget that they are adults and begin acting like they are in middle school. Sides are taken, gossip becomes rampant and trust is no more.

We are all on this ride together. It is not about color. It is not about religion or sexual orientation. As individuals we should all try to work together. The world is becoming so complex and unpredictable. Attitudes need to change. Trust needs to be renewed. Respect for others and not being so harsh or quick to judge needs to relearned. Communication has to be a priority and this applies to all levels including in the homes, the workplace, among friends and acquaintances, etc.

We can make a difference. We can be the light that others want to follow. It has to begin somewhere so why not let it begin with YOU?