Bothered by my inability to accept another for who he was, I asked a friend if he himself ever had problems with people.
As far as I was concerned, this friend was well-liked, amiable, and friendly; and if there was anyone who would be accepting of people in general, it would be him.
To my surprise he said that there were people he didn’t like, and whom he didn’t bother trying too hard to like.
“Do you believe,” I asked, “that there are some people whom try as you might, you just cannot seem to accept — whom you just cannot stand?”
He replied in the affirmative, and added, “to me, the world can be divided into three types of people. First, there are those who like you no matter what you do. Second, there are those who hate you no matter you do. And third, there are those whom may swing either way; and it’s up to you to swing them into the first or second category. And these are the people whom we should be concerned about.”
I felt relieved after he had said this.
I had for a long time believed that you should try to make everyone like you. If it meant sacrifices, then so be it. A man with a good heart does not pick and choose who his friends and enemies are: should everyone not be his friend?
But for a particular person, this didn’t work for me. I tried accommodating him, thinking good thoughts about him, infusing my mind with the “best of his life”, like a Greatest Hits compilation album.
But it wasn’t enough.
It isn’t his fault that I don’t like him, and it’s probably mostly (if not entirely) mine… but how do I stop feeling like I do?