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  • Writer's pictureRobert Stevenson

Give More - Get More

Robert Stevenson Blog - 2 people facing off, with the words reasonable and fair.

Sometimes you can end up getting more by giving more than is necessary. I think the following old story gives a great example of what I mean. (the author is anonymous)

Years ago, a city man bought a farm. After taking ownership of his new farm, the city man found out the previous owner had been quarreling for years with his neighbor over the location of a fence.

The neighboring farmer immediately tried to quarrel with the new owner, telling him that the fence was a full foot over on his side of the property. The new owner could have called his attorney and found there are several ways to address this problem: Dispute Resolution, Division by Agreement, Fence Viewer, Boundary by Acquiescence, Easement Prescription, Adverse Possession, and Right-Hand Rule, to name a few ways our legal system would address this problem.

But the new owner did not call his attorney and let the law resolve this issue. Nor did he get upset, defensive or confrontational with his neighbor. He simply stated, “Very well, I will set the fence two feet over on my side.”

His surprised neighbor said, “Oh, but that is more than I claim.” The city man then said, "Never mind about that. I would much rather have peace with my neighbor than two feet of earth."

Completely taken back by what the city man had offered to do and his reasoning for doing it, the neighboring farmer replied, “That’s surely fine of you sir, but I couldn’t let you do a thing like that.”


So many times in life we have the opportunity to diffuse a situation by merely considering the other person’s point of view. We should all try to be reasonable and fair in everything we do. But, if you throw in a little generosity, you’ll find you have fewer problems, leading to less stress and an added bonus; have more friends.


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