What would happen if we all imagined that everyone else was doing their absolute best?
Think about it.
How many of your conflicts have been started from misunderstandings or having specific expectations of someone else?
There have been times that I’ve been disappointed in people for not spending time with me on my Birthday, cancelling on get-togethers, or not calling me when they say they’re going to. What I’ve realized though is:
1) Expectation can lead to disappointment.
2) Sometimes people really are doing their damndest.
Here’s the thing. Every single day I see multiple people walking on sidewalks as I drive down the streets, milling about stores trying to decide what to buy, sitting on park benches, waiting in lines…
The thing is, I know scarcely anything about the people I see. I don’t know their dreams. I don’t know what worries mull in their minds. I don’t know the highs and lows of their childhoods. I don’t know what fuels them. Of course there are a few people in my life who I know in and out and there are those who know nearly everything about me- but in the grand scheme of things I know hardly anyone.
Recently, a man by the name of Jahmel Binion posted a selfie of himself on Instagram. Before long, someone pointed out to him that Shaquille O’Neill and a few other famous folks were mocking him for the way he looked. Jahmel didn’t respond in anger, instead he’s used this incident to create a viral anti-bullying campaign called Hug Don’t Judge.
Before you make assumptions about someone remember that everyone has their own story. If you see someone and your immediate reaction is to judge them because of the way they’re dressed, how they speak, or how they respond to you, view that feeling objectively. View the person before you objectively. You never know… this person could become your friend.
It’s critical to transform judgment into openness because you never know what someone else has been through. Realize that most people aren’t trying to deliberately offend you if they’re a little brash, cut you off, or don’t respond to your question. Yes, it can be frustrating or hurtful, but you have no idea what’s going on in their life. They could have had someone close to them die, they may be rushing to pick up their sick child from school, they may be hearing impaired or lost in thought.
If it happens, just think to yourself, maybe this person is really just doing their best.