Huffman’s rule of social interaction

A civil society is dependent upon not having runaway hostile emotions. You might get angry with your spouse, a co-worker, a neighbor, a political party or, on a global scale, another nation. In most cases these are bursts of anger that, when put into the larger perspective its not worth severing the relationship or escalating the hostilities. Everyone is going to have a better life if the parties can freely interact to the mutual benefit of everyone. If there is no mutually beneficial interaction at the current time that doesn’t mean that there won’t be such need in the future.

For example, suppose your neighbor’s dog sometimes poops in your yard. If you escalate the situation and you end up not being on speaking terms it going to be tough to help each other when you need to cover your windows with plywood to protect against a hurricane.

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t put a stop to the neighbor’s kid torturing your cat or you finding a new job and telling your boss he is a jerk when you leave. There are times when you must take action to protect yourself.

I would like to express this philosophy more succinctly and refer to it in the future as Huffman’s rule of social interaction:

Never burn bridges.

Wait until your enemy is crossing it and then use explosives.

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