Sometimes being friends with people from different walks of life requires a lot of stamina and tact. Sometimes just keeping peace between the people around you requires the same. But to not take sides in issues, to refuse the negative energy, and to embrace the positive, takes more than the rest.

I try very hard to get along with all whom I meet. With most its very easy. With some it requires special efforts. These are general things that most all of us face in our lives.

Case in point being when working in close quarters with a small tight group of people and having a shift that spans across all 3. In order to survive and be productive, to have good working relationships, and to prosper you must either align your self with the strongest leader and hope for success or you must find a middle ground.

A place where sides are not chosen, but where support can be given with true honesty and objectivity.

For me it's kind of like becoming Switzerland.

I have grown to be friends with many of the people I work with, closer to some than others but friends still. That is a term and a kindred bond I don't hand out lightly.

I have also grown to have workable professional relationships. Most of the time these all blend just fine and I am able to keep the negative energies of conflict out. Sometimes it can not be avoided - that is part of the balance of life.

There have been some unfortunate situations presented in the past and in those cases I made the mistakes of speaking out beyond my place and of taking a side where I should have remained neutral. In the last week or so another situation presented its self. And in this instance it has been between a friend and a co-worker. I respect both for their individual qualities. And truly am not going to take sides. No matter where my agreements lie. Because it will serve no purpose and will bring no positive result. And to this I will not be even an incidental party to bringing any negativity into a situation.

It was an interesting day to say the least. One though where I hope I was able to help each see the others point of view even a little bit, but that is as far as I can go in this situation. In personal lives it would be one matter, in professional lives its unfortunately another. And rather than play the part of politics and take sides or cast down on others, I am choosing to remain neutral. And ya know what... thats a helluva lot harder than it sounds.

My past is one of not biting my tongue most of the time. Being outspoken in my opinions, and thoughts. And I have weathered that fairly well, but not in a satisfying manner. I am hoping to bring to my life a future of more balance and satisfaction, while reserving my opinions and thoughts to myself except in cases where I can not hold silent.

In this manner, perhaps instead of throwing small pebbles at a lot of situations, the opinions might be taken with more weight when they are rarely offered, and listened to in a more serious manner. Thus changing the pebble to a stone.

My only real fear is that the friend might feel betrayed, though I hope they will not - and that they will respect my point of view in this, and how it fits with my still growing and evolving beliefs that I have come to embrace. And that conversely a negative impact might come from the co-worker hoping that I would stand up and shout down or become involved otherwise.

And so... I herby declare myself Switzerland in matters such related to professional work life. With reservation to amend this stance to be included further into life or withdrawn if a change so merits. Life after all is an evolution of the physical, mental, emotional, and belief systems; requiring options for change at all points for growth.

So to everyone else out there I have but one thing to say... GO WATCH MERLIN! From the BBC... its fantastic! 2 seasons of 13 episodes each, just do it! :-P

DB