RASTA TIMES - Thin Line between Friend and Foe
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Thin Line between Friend and Foe
Posted: Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Posted By: gman
Date: Saturday, 19 April 2003, at 11:54 a.m.

I wonder if ones out there could give me insight on this...
How ya deal with people who, while they also have many good qualities, are also self-centered, disrespectful (not necessarily intentionally), and inconsiderate?
I talking about people who profess to be your "friends".
I'm of two minds about this: part of me wants to take the "high road" and ignore the lil vibes I getting and the lack of respect inherent in asking someone to do a favor for them, but being apparently unwilling to do the simplest most basic favor in return.... and just give out positive vibes and try to look at things from their side and give them the benefit of the doubt as far as intentions...
And the other side of me wants to give them the mother of all verbal cut-rasses and really put them in their place.
Then again I have to think of the ways in which I am far from a perfect person and have treated people close to me rather shabbily on occasion. So who am I to throw stones?
What y'all think?


Posted By: Ayinde
Date: Saturday, 19 April 2003, at 7:42 p.m.

Very interesting topic.

I will have to give some of my definitions in order to share some of my views.

All people no matter how foolish they behave have some good qualities so limited qualities are not sufficient to work with. Someone may have very little good qualities and is a better candidate for improvement than someone with much more good qualities. (I could always elaborate on this if necessary)

Also, you use the term self-centred and I suspect it was written to convey the regular interpretation. But if someone were truly self-centred then they would be anchored in their goodness and thus exhibit good qualities. I usually say 'false sense of self-centred' to convey the meaning that the person is not anchored in their self. Most people who are not truly self-centred exhibit varying degrees of poor characteristics.

Very often the judgments made could be very subjective. For example, someone may come over arrogant but if what he or she is saying is correct, what appears to be arrogance could in reality be confidence. Given the fact that most people will not see a truth at the same time, a very confident person could be considered arrogant to fools and an arrogant person could also be considered to be confident to fools. All of this depends on subjective evaluations when you are looking for the answers from many people. Now, lets say most people agree on certain characteristic then that is not sufficient to work with, as truth is not a democracy. Most people could be wrong.

People could call me their friend but that does not necessarily mean that I consider them that way. I am clear on the qualities I look for in someone before I consider him or her anything more than a casual acquaintance.

The only objective evaluation is if people study the values that they feel are fair to all people and live by them. If they do this then they can consider only the people who live by similar values as friends. Individuals have to work this out with their own conscience while reasoning with others.

Friendship is not a final agreement anyhow; it is a work in progress.

There are values that I follow and based on those values I can choose whom to consider a friend. Many people have been cultured in extremes, so they feel if someone is not their friend then that person is an enemy. People who adopt values different to my own are simply acquaintances or 'strangers' and they deserve the same amount of respect I would give to a friend. (Stranger means someone with whom I had no direct interaction)

The subtle difference is that I would not trust or make certain jokes with a casual acquaintance or a 'stranger' but I would trust a friend, and given the high standards used for cultivating real friendship then I am reasonably assured of their confidence. I would share secrets with friends but not with an acquaintance or 'stranger'.

I remember years ago, certain policemen would come in my place and when they wanted to get things for free they would tell me that I am their friend. When people do this I usually put up my guards, as I know they are trying to get something for free.

In short, I choose my friends and do not have friendship imposed. This leaves me without being able to call many people my friends however, I waste less time and don't have all the headaches other people have. I will say how I think and or feel without the expectation that I am supposed to protect wrongdoing under the disguise of friendship.

If I find my friend is inconsiderate, I would tell him or her and this may trigger an interesting reasoning. I may learn that I was wrong and they had a valid reason for their conduct or they may learn something and improve. I may do the same with other people but I am under no illusion when doing so. They may respond the same way as a friend or they may be very hostile. If they are angry about it I will just go my way if I am in the public domain. If the person were in my place I would ask them to leave.

Anyway you look at it, no one should be a hypocrite. The difference being, a real friend understands this and casual acquaintances/strangers may not.

I really do not consider anyone my enemy. If I do I may have to seek ways to destroy them. I may have to behave like Osama and Bush.


Posted By: gman
Date: Saturday, 19 April 2003, at 8:12 p.m.

Give thanks for all the responses.
Ayinde, I will reason more on some of the issues you brought up later when I have time- specifically the enemy thing.
Having let off some steam from my burning cauldron of anger and resentment by walking around mumbling to myself and thinking up various vicious verbal cutdowns... I now feel better and able to deal reasonably with the person next time we talk. Cos cutting people down doesn't achieve much except maybe making you feel better temporarily.
Perhaps I'll just write a rap about it... with no names named.
Another thing is, looking at it a little more objectively than when I was really steaming, I wonder how much of my resentment is a projection of a certain amount of guilt at the way I have treated certain people in the past.
I know I didn't ever mean to hurt these people really, I was just "false self-centered" and nuff times how they might feel about my actions or lack thereof never crossed my mind.
So I will give this person the benefit of the doubt and assume the same applies for them.
Raspeck Peace and Love to all who helped I out on this issue! It really helped, trust. Especially being a bipolar-diagnosed person as I am, a lot of anger and resentment building up is very unhealthy.

Posted By: Ayinde
Date: Sunday, 20 April 2003, at 3:23 p.m.

Many people conceptualise extreme states of either passiveness in regards to tolerance or rage in regards to enemy.

People should be tolerant if they do not know how to treat with a disturbance while researching long lasting solutions. Once they realize the solution then they should work to resolve it. But to remain tolerant of something that disturbs while understanding a better way is not good. The better has to be shared and the responses observed and assessed.

If you go in the bush without your repellent then the mosquitoes would be foolish to assume that because you tolerate them biting you it is acceptable. The first time you get some means to kill them you would. People operate in either position in this scenario, although they could do better.

For the most part people should be tolerant until they realize a better way other than the use of violence to resolve disputes but they should not remain tolerant if/when they understand better. The other party might also be tolerating you and may not be so enlightened and as such may wipe you out if or when they get the upper hand instead of reasoning with you.

People can reason things out although for the most part this is an underdeveloped and under-utilised ability.

I have two questions for general consideration and comments:

Why is the ability to reason out disputes instead of resorting to violence not utilized?

What is necessary to allow reasoned discourses to resolve disputes?


Posted By: IanI
Date: Monday, 21 April 2003, at 9:59 a.m.

Greetings, Greetings,

Ayinde... first I will reason pon you last question.
"what is necessary to allow reasoned discourses to resolve disputes?"

Hmmm. Alot of people in alot of places could certainly use the answer to this question these days, eh? You know... ones must be in sincere agreement that them wish to "re-solve", and then and only then can reasoning be effective. If ones no have that desire, then them could go on talk all day and nobody not going to get no where. One side just make them point and the other side make them point and neither no really hear the other. If you no want to forward, if you belief is that you get it down pat and your way is the best way and there is no better way... than... what you gonna hear?

Now... how does one achieve the desire to "re-solve'. This certainly takes a bit of maturity. Ones must have developed consciously to the point of receptiveness. To the ability to hear and see other opinions and ideas than just your own. To the overstanding that every situation and experience has a lesson in it and you must be receptive enough to learn that lesson. Even if it is destroying you ego and hurting you feelings. To the point where you overstand that others may have more experience and knowledge than you and be willing to hear them out.

And if you are the one with the more experience and knowledge, you must be able to realize that the one you a reasoning with can be taught and can learn from the things that you can show them. Even if it is not today... perhaps the reasoning will have its effect at a later date... when something happen to them and they say, "ah! now me know what them a sayin that day!!" And them may be able to teach the I a thing or two as well, so no never think you are the only one "teaching"... you better be learning as well!

"why is the ability to reason out disputes instead of resorting to violence not utilized?

This is a complicated question that goes deep into the cultures, the education, the belief systems of many people. In many cultures violence has come to be seen as heroic, valiant, courageous... masculine. Reasoning is seen as weak, soft, feeble, simple... feminine. And these "ways of thinking" are imbedded into the minds of the youth from very, very early on. Often through organized religions and governments.

So even when it gets to a simple matter of dealing with just one other human being these traits are already deeply ingrained into ones psyche. And it takes long, serious meditations to overcome these patterns of behaviour. And then, knowing how to deal with ones that have not broken these patterns is another long and serious meditation!

There are certain behaviours than I will tolerate and certain other behaviours that I absolutely will NOT tolerate. I do not make "friends" with those whose behaviours I find intolerable. And I do not reason with those that do not have the ability to hear. I am too old and have too much less time for that! haha!
If a bredren or sistren has disapointed me in some way, I will ALWAYS let them know... right then and there. "You are seriously disapointing me man. Why you go on like that?"
If I have mis-judged them... well, I am the one that must decide how much, if any, of my precious time will be devoted to them.
I may not see them as "foe", but my time is precious and they may not be deserving of it. I make that decision.

Give thanks for irie reasonings pon use-full and enlightening issues.
Thanks and Praise!

IanI Rastafari
Guidance and Protection


Posted By: Ayinde
Date: Sunday, 22 April 2003, at 7:10 a.m.

It takes honesty to reason.

Too many people lack integrity and it is dishonesty that keeps them from being able to reason out issues.

People don't even need academic education to reason well; all they need is honesty. This general lack of integrity is the hindrance to learning about and from oneself and reasoning to resolve disputes.

Continue this reasoning here...

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