It’s fascinating to watch reactions and responses to life. Three different people can see the same situation in three different ways. I once heard this illustration: Three friends are falling from the Empire State Building. The pessimist says, “We are dead.” The realist says, “We are falling to our death.” The optimist says, “So far so good.” If they had time, these guys could probably get into a good argument about their situation.

Generally opposites attract and then we proceed to make each other crazy. If you stop to think about it, in friendships, business partnerships, and marriages there are usually temperament mixes. I think we naturally seek out those who can balance us out without even knowing it. In all strong relationships the parties involved have learned to value each other’s point of view. Where trouble begins is when we refuse to look at a problem or situation standing in someone else’s shoes seeing things from their vantage point.

Add to our personality differences, when backgrounds and male female differences are thrown in the mix, it’s a wonder any of us get along. Because I’m basically a realist, seeing things as they appear to be, I can thwart the creativity of an optimist. Because Jim Brawner is the eternal optimist, I can start to develop a twitch hearing all his new ideas and plans. Over the years both of us have had to learn to listen without reacting. I have figured out he likes to oral edit his ideas and that in all probability we aren’t moving to a foreign continent and he has learned to let me make my plan and try to work it.

It’s taken a lot of years for us to get to that point. Over time he’s learned in some situations we might be falling and I have learned to frequently say, “So far so good.”

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