There is a wonderful Looney Tunes cartoon with a sheep dog and a coyote, walking to “work”, being friends, having a chat, and then being polar opposites at work. Yet, at the end of the day, when the whistle sounds, they head home as friends. Civility, in the context of a cartoon. Mutual Respect. Admiration. Professional Colleagues. Friends.
Things were never quite as good as they are remembered, but it does seem the earlier generations were a bit more adapt at maintaining a balance. Of keeping “work at work”, of “being friends after 6”, or simply just knowing a difference of opinion does not preclude friendship. It was a different time, but the stories of the friendship, the mutual respect of Tip O’Neal and Ted Kennedy for Ronald Reagan, after 6 p.m., were legendary. They were able to communicate, to work together, to learn from each other, to find common ground, and maybe along the way learn a bit about themselves and others. You know, that stuff that makes everyone just a little bit better of a person.
It is refreshing to hear the stories of the Supreme Court’s most outspoken liberal and staunchly conservative member being friends. Sharing a love of opera, vacationing together, sharing family time, meals, and respecting and admiring the other’s legal and professional acumen. Who knows, maybe they learned a bit more about other people, another person’s point of view, the life experiences of others. To call someone “your best buddy” is pretty darn special.
The entire “campaign season” seems to be highlighting how resolute, absolutely righteous and completely uncompromising our potential political “leaders” are. It is all so terribly sad, but we know at least two people still understood and believed, practiced and abided by the timeless lesson – relationships matter. Your friends do not have to be like you. Actually we are all probably better off if they are not just like us, if we have a whole world of relationships full of different people, with different thoughts and beliefs.
Ralph and Sam, Ruth and Antonin. Thanks for the example.