Love Thy Neighbor

>> Thursday, August 14, 2008

There is a lot of work involved in loving others as ourselves. It can be one-sided and feel not worth it. But it can also be worthwhile and gratifying.

I try to apply *love thy neighbor* to people I work with. These are people with whom I have been chosen to cooperate. Some of them have been chosen to work with me. However we have come together we did not choose to work with each other. And, if truth be told, I would not choose to interact with many of my coworkers, if I didn't have to.

But I digress. At work I try to be respectful, even helpful to my fellow workers. I choose to look at the success of the organization as a whole and feel I can work toward that by doing my job and collaborating appropriately with others. This usually works out.

But there are coworkers who do not agree with my vision. In fact, there are people so caught up in their own problems they can barely cooperate or collaborate with others at work. How to handle them?

I used to work with a man who found out he had treatable cancer. He was so upset by this news, so utterly fearful, though for some odd reason he did confide in me, he not only chose not to tell his family, but also to only have minimal treatment. Our boss found out about this (how I am still not sure) and threatened to tell the man's family if he did not tell them himself. I guess that was one way to handle it.

Currently, I have several very angry, and therefore toxic coworkers. Though I don't know the cause of their anger, I have been the brunt of it. It's a very delicate manner and though many have complained about them behind closed doors, only a few people have actually confronted them.

After hearing about a person who killed herself on the job, I find myself wondering. If I try to help my coworkers, I may step out of line and alienate them. On the other hand, I can't control other people's choices. I guess I can't make everyone nontoxic.