A Conversation


“I like spending time alone”, the man said.

“Why is that,” I asked.

Thinking about this for a moment, he said, “I’m the least disappointing person I know.”

As we watched the traffic wiz by on the highway I said, “Maybe you’re setting your standards too high.”

“Maybe I am,” he countered. “But why shouldn’t I? Why should I set my standards lower for others than I do for myself?”

“Tell me what your standards are. What kind of person are you?”

Contemplating my question, he said presently, “I suppose I’m kind, generous, a decent human being.”

“And are you always kind, generous and decent? Are there times when, maybe you’re not?”

“I see what you’re driving at,” he said. “And you’re right. There are times when I’m not. But you recall, I said I’m the least disappointing person I know. I didn’t say I was perfect.”

“One of the disadvantages of being ourselves is that we are unable to see ourselves from others’ point of view. If we could, we might be surprised to find we’re an awful lot like everyone else.”

“So you’re saying I’m more forgiving of myself, than I am of others?”

“Sometimes we are. If others disappoint us, we can walk away from them. We can’t however, walk away from ourselves. If we were as hard on ourselves as we are on others, we might find it difficult to live with ourselves. In order to balance that out, maybe we should be less hard on them.”

After thinking about this for a few moments, the man said, “You’re one of the reasons I like spending time alone.” And he stood, and walked away.

One comment

  1. Some people who choose to spend most of their time alone are excellent, empathetic listeners. Other loners are not interested in hearing what others have to say. Personally, I prefer to associate with empathetic listeners, whether they are introverts or extroverts.

    Liked by 1 person

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