Last night I came back to my apartment to find that one of my roommates, Shayna, had decided to move out at the drop of a hat. She spent all night moving her stuff out, and now everything is gone. She didn’t bother to notify our landlord until she was completely moved out, and yet had the chutzpah to ask for her deposit money back from him. I wish I could say that I was upset at her leaving, as she was (for the most part) a nice young woman. But she was also the messiest person I have ever lived with, and I am more than a little pleased at the prospect of getting someone cleaner in here, and someone who respects others. Marc, our landlord, came by today to change the locks, and asked why she had left without saying anything. And it made me remember being in my early twenties, and learning how to negotiate as an adult in the world. A lot of it comes in fits and starts, and it can take many years for people to get over their fear of conflict and to develop a respect for one’s neighbors. There is no perfect guidebook, we all learn these things by trial and error. Lord knows I have made many mistakes with regard to interpersonal relationships, especially at that age. Hopefully over time, through trial and error, we learn how to cope with ourselves and others in an honest way that respects both. Obviously there are some people that never learn how to deal with conflict or how to be aware of other people. And the vast differences in cultures and the ways that people are raised result in many misunderstandings. But a little good will and Golden Rule goes a long way.