Good men ask. So do weak men. Jackasses just do. So go great men.

The trouble is distinguishing between the good and the weak, the arseholes and the great. A general tendency is to respect those who do – so that even if you might follow some arseholes, eventually you’ll find someone great. Our systems are wired to aim for the big win instead of the safety bet that is ‘nice’.

It’s not a question of right or wrong, whether you should respect those who are nice to you or those who move on in their lives oblivious to your existence. It boils down to what you want to do, how you want to live life, how you want to be treated and treat others.

Chances are that you’ll prefer people to be nice to you but retain the option of just doing and asking for forgiveness later.

Regardless of how you feel about it, the truth is that it’s always easier to get forgiveness rather than permission – because most people hate ‘choosing’ to change, and when it’s done for them they are liable to accept it more easily than making that choice. I say most people because for others there’s the over-riding impulse to control their environment, and they ‘want’ to know everything that’s being done and will throw an absolute hissy fit if something happens without them knowing it, even though they are flexible, likeable folks who would agree with you.

Know who you’re dealing with, and forget about asking for permissions and forgiveness, for that matter. Do what you have to do when it comes to your own life, and do the right thing (ambiguous but we all have our own ethical compasses) when it comes to other people.

You don’t have to be weak to be a good person, and you don’t have to be a jackass to be great.

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