|curious or foolish?|
Today practice presuming BENIGN INTENT, the idea that most people are doing the best they can and mean us no harm. Assume we don't have all the information to truly know their motivations and intents. That scowl may just be their resting face. The distraction may not be lack of interest in your needs but preoccupation with their own. The guy who cut in front of you may not have seen you, may be very late to something important, maybe unaware his turn signal isn't working. It's possible it wasn't a plot to annoy or scare you. The woman who is keeping you on hold at her cubicle job is just trying to make a living, pay for a place to live, feed her kids. Sure, her script is stilted, and maybe her accent is hard to understand, but she's more like us than not, trying to get through the day with the least possible suffering entailed.
|Youth gang? Healthy festive teens?|
We can easily fall into traps of thinking others are less than or more than we are. Both traps are bad and keep us wary and separate. If you've a mind to, go for extra credit toda and try to understand the other to the point that at least some judgments start to fall away. she how that poor mama loves on her kid, how strong that fat man is, how kind the alcoholic, offering you a half of his sandwich.
|Good ol Annie-- ridiculous person, or master of fun?|
JUST WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?
I mean, really?
See if you can answer those questions without opinions, just with facts. Like: Sometimes my brain doesn't work as week as other times. Or: I can be aloof when I feel vulnerable and other people may interpret this as snobbishness. We all have our defender behaviors. How about for today we just observe them with a keen and kind eye, trying to figure out their function,and instead of acting them outwe just watch them from a little distance. We can remind ourselves that moods and fears pass and look for the core that connects us.
Do a fearless self-inventory of your failings and rewrite it as FACTS about you, HABITS about you, INTENTIONS of these habits. Dont forget to put in FACTS about your Strengths as well.
I have a Buddhist friend who, when I would say something judgmental about a fellow human ("she lots a hot mess") would gently bring me out of judgment with remarks like :I don't know her story. I am not better than she or she than me." My sister in law gave me a lesson many years ago when I was in my salad days and saw a older bleached blonde woman in a very tight dress with teetery heels. "Mutton masquerading as lamb", I said rudely. Bhodi sister said "I love her self-confidence and that she dresses how she wants, not how others tell her she should. " Great reframe.
So just for today, watch those judgments spin out, and if you catch them, replace them with a benign or even positive reframe. Or just let them drift on by and pay attention to what is really happening around you. You might be surprised what you can learn, setting judgments aside and paying open attention to others.
The world is a sweeter, safer place when we can corral our judgments and only pull them out when necessary after examining them through the lens of our preconceptions and limited exposures. Here's a little film about that.
See you tomorrow!