One cut is worth as many measurements as it takes

Sean Dunn, Columnist

People are very polite, these days. Too damn polite, in the face of tolerance.

Tolerance, I feel, is a very obsessed-over word these days. We talk about tolerance in all sorts of manner; religious tolerance, pain tolerance, bacterial tolerance, all the fun stuff. Individual tolerance, however, is something that is relevant to pretty much all of us.

I can guarantee everyone reading this article has had to associate with someone they simply did not enjoy being around, but chose to do so for whatever reason.  Maybe we had to work with them, being required to physically be near them. We may have known them for a long time and feel like we owe them our time and attention from the long-held relationship.

We even might interact with them because we think we can make them a better person, or that we are a better person for dealing with them; “I’m a good person because no one else is willing to deal with this guy.”

In any case, we have to convince ourselves that it’s worth being around unenjoyable people.

I have one proposed question: Is it really?

We only have so much time and energy in a day, a week, a year, our entire lives. We don’t always spend it wisely, that’s a given, but why should we decide to spend it on people who are a drain on good energy?

Don’t get me wrong; sometimes it’s good to waste time on your friends from time to time. Hell, I wouldn’t even say that’s wasting time. I’m a firm believer that if you enjoy yourself, you’re never wasting time.


Don’t subject yourself to someone who is only looking to be a void to your positive energy and efforts.

Surround yourself with people who make you happy, who want to see you succeed, who fill your life with joy, who have your best interests in mind.

That being said, talk to your friends if you have beef with them. This seems like a “No shit, Sherlock,” moment, but a lack of communication is the best way to strangle understanding between two people. In that same vein, tell people why you love ‘em. That’s what people want, what people need. It’s that little boost that keeps people going. I know I’ve needed to hear it once or twice. Plus, you hear how much people hate each other enough as it is. You ever get tired of that? I do.

The metaphor about how relationships are like plants is sometimes overused, but it’s an accurate one. At least, in the traditional ways you take care of a plant. Some plants require very little upkeep, and some people require very little upkeep.

Other plants need great amounts of attention, and other people need great amounts of attention. I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this.

Treat people well, treat yourself well, and don’t be afraid to cut out people who don’t need to be in your life. Grow so you can be better for yourself, not for others.