You’d better be nice to the people going up the ladder – You’ll see them on the way back down

Climbing, Ladder Rungs, Rise, Alpspitze, Head, Kicks

Years ago, I heard someone say, “You’d better be nice to the people going up the ladder because you’ll see them on the way back down.”

I didn’t quite believe him. Certainly, I would never topple–or at least, that is what I thought. Unfortunately, I found that, at least for me, toppling was inevitable. I reconsidered things and now, I realize that Alan Clark is correct:

 In the end, we are all sacked and it’s always awful. It is as inevitable as death following life. If you are elevated there comes a day when you are demoted. Even Prime Ministers. – Alan Clark

Powerful CEO’s are replaced by even more powerful ones. Comfortable housewives are replaced by the much younger models, and actors and actresses lose their appeal. All of us will eventually fade from the limelight, but it happens to some of us sooner than it does to others. Issues are further complicated because people never quite know how to process demotion.

When marital unfaithfulness is part of the equation–especially where children are involved–the camps polarize. It is not always clear why a child picks one parent over the other one. Being the parent who does not leave is not always rewarded–especially if the other parent leaves and doesn’t look back. The children may blame the parent who stayed or they may simply think that the only hope of getting the other parent’s attention is to move over to his camp.

Certainly, the only discipline that the child received was from the parent who stayed. The other one flew the coop. It is very difficult for one parent to handle all of the disciplining. In fact, the task is almost impossible. Children need both the support and the discipline of two parents. An irrational child may become angry at the parent who actually parented and may think that things are easier on the other side of the fence.

Don’t believe everything you think–and especially don’t believe everything you think that you remember.

Another anonymous quote comes to mind, too:

Never argue with someone who believes their own lies.

Unfortunately, when denial enters the game, the playing field becomes terribly muddy.

For any of several reasons, some of our lives get twisted around and our wires get crossed. Sometimes, we climb too high and get dizzy and fall. Sometimes, we simply make mistakes. For any of several reasons, some of us reach the point when we realize that things are torn–forever. It took me a while to understand this–at least to understand it to the point that I could grow into another reality.  But in some cases, we are left with no choice but to simply walk away and start again.

Speak, Talk, Microphone, Tin Can, Can, Tin, Mouth, Say

We cannot change our past. We can not change the fact that people act in a certain way. We can not change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. – Charles R. Swindoll

No doubt, one of my greatest disappointments has to do with my family that seems to be permanently at odds with each other. For a very long time, I considered that to be the last and crushing blow to my spirit that has suffered several disappointments before this. I have a tendency toward depression anyway, and for a while, I simply folded my cards and quit–I gave up on life, but gradually, I have crawled out of that dark place. I have gotten back into the fight.

It is inevitable that some defeat will enter even the most victorious life. The human spirit is never finished when it is defeated… it is finished when it surrenders. – Ben Stein

Currently, my main problems center around the fact that now, I know that life is tenuous. It always was. No one is guaranteed much of anything anymore, but having suffered several defeats, I am painfully aware of the delicate balances in life now, and I am more guarded–always waiting for the other shoe to drop. That leads to a certain amont of paranoia.

Because I am creative and can write, I rarely get lonely. The holidays are difficult for me, but at one point or another, most people deal with a bit of loneliness.

The whole conviction of my life now rests upon the belief that loneliness, far from being a rare and curious phenomenon, peculiar to myself and to a few other solitary men, is the central and inevitable fact of human existence.- Tom Wolfe

I have realized that many people are lonely. In fact, when I see how many people are desperately flagging this post or that, trying to muster some type of approval on Facebook, I often mutter to myself:

All the lonely people, where do they all come from? – the Beatles


Facebook “Friends”
by Jacki Kellum

Screen seen,
Glitter glean,
Lonely people in between.

Reaching far,
Catch a star,
How I wonder who you are.
©Jacki Kellum October 5, 2015

Even happlily married couples are not immune to ultimate pain and lonelines. Rarely do couples die together In most cases, one partner in a married couple is left to walk alone. I have simply decided to try to ride some of this out–as gracefully as possible.

Not long ago, I closely examined my life and I realized that I needed to forego my efforts to try to control everything. Even when I was trying very hard to keep all of my ducks in a row, things continued to fall apart. I came to understand the meaning of living in the moment and now, I find that my best approach to life is simply to live one day at a time–and to look for the good things in my life–rather than the bad–and I have discovered that there is still a lot of good.

Indeed, it is possible to stand with one foot on the inevitable ‘banana peel’ of life with both eyes peering into the Great Beyond, and still be happy, comfortable, and serene – if we will even so much as smile. – Douglas Fairbanks

©Jacki Kellum March 4, 2016



5 thoughts on “You’d better be nice to the people going up the ladder – You’ll see them on the way back down

  1. A very thoughtful piece Jacki. I enjoyed it. I believe in planning for the future, but living in the moment. And treating folks with kindness. Then I have the knowledge that I didn’t intentionally bring pain to people. In my experience when family or friends go to war, most observers don’t want to get involved. When one side is a liar and the other is honest, the honest one usually loses. I don’t believe in karma. Bad people win too often. Although usually time reveals the truth eventually.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. you know, I don’t believe that good things happen to good people and vice versa. I’ve seen it the other way too many times. I also do not believe that eventaully people are sorry for what they have done. I believe that most people are in complete denial and never admit [especially to themeselves] what they have done.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. In my experience, they lie–and they do it well. Others believe them. After all, we are the ones being rejected. It must be our fault, they rationalize. Read my posts on narcissists. In my experience these people are very charismatic and manipulative liars. They seem to be squeaky clean. There is no defense. You have to simply walk away.

        Liked by 1 person

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