I was reminded of an excerpt from Guy Kawasaki's book "Enchantment" this morning...
People are not binary. People are not ones or zeros, smart or dumb, worthwhile or worthless. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, positives and negatives, competencies and deficiencies.
Everyone is better than you at something. People who don’t accept others often think they are superior to everyone. But no one is superior to everyone in every way. You may be a rich investment banker, but the person you look down upon may be a great teacher.
People are more similar than they are different. At a basic level, almost everyone wants to raise a family, do something meaningful, and enjoy life. This is true across races, cultures, creeds, colors, and countries. If you looked, you would discover that you have a lot in common with people whom you don’t like.
People deserve a break. The stressed and unorganized person who doesn’t have the same priorities as you may be dealing with an autistic child, abusive spouse, fading parents, or cancer. Don’t judge people until you’ve walked a kilometer in their shoes. Give them a break instead.
Not such a great moment...
A few months ago I was riding my motorcycle through town when a guy turned into my lane from a side street and almost hit me. I'll admit - I was angry. I swerved, hit the horn and was determined to give him a piece of my mind. As we came up to the next intersection, he got into the left turn lane so I pulled up beside him and glared.
He was an older guy, and the look on his face told me he was worried. Some maniac on a bike was upset and gesturing wildly... so he just kept looking forward, dying to turn left and get away.
As I pulled away and got a little further down the road, a couple of things hit me.
1. Just up the road from where he pulled out is the hospital and a lot of medial professional buildings, including a nursing home and more.
2. He had no clue I was there... it wasn't intentional.
I have no idea where he was coming from, what was going on in his life or if he'd just gotten some really bad news. Yes, he almost hit me -- but he didn't. Was I really justified in getting angry? Not really.
I appreciated the reminder this morning - perhaps you need it too.