The ability to listen is probably one of the qualities I hate to love. It requires such an amount of introspection and ... perhaps most importantly, the reality check of oneself needed to adapt and be flexible.
One day I said to myself: I think my approach has to change. While the best leaders stand apart and aren't afraid to be first or the only one, I know that it's been conflicting my judgments of others.
I came back from the BE program, repugnant towards anything negative. It was bitter to the taste and harsh on the touch, and I couldn't stand it. However, I know now, that I'm already beyond the influence. It would help if the ones that are around me would quit drinking the haterade, but the best way to stay above the influence is to remember the love I have for them. I have to reinforce that they have beautiful moments, they are of skin and blood, and they are better than me in several things I can only dream of. They may have their faults, but so do I, and I can not judge them for it. Even if they judge me, even if they malign me, even if they curse and presume me for someone I'm not, I can choose to not go tit for tat. There's nothing beautiful about it. However, I assert one must be passionate about certain things, and passion may be confused with being combative.
I used to depart from those that I even had a slight twinge of negativity from. I just didn't want to be a part of it. I think I'm closest to those that value the principles that I do, but I think I've learned to manage the relationships that involve people I love but don't quite know how to manage the negativity in their lives. I don't isolate myself. I find a way to embrace them. I look at them for who they are completely. And that's important. However, my line of self respect is not to be affected. I know clearly when it's someone's mismanagement of deep-rooted troubles or a lack of disregard for me and my worth. That's a line that I do not let others tip-toe.
I think this past week has been a great exercise in understanding. By extending any virtue of hate to anyone that isn't in accord to what I believe in, is akin to hate itself. I am a lover, not a hater.