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  • Writer's pictureBob Prentice


From time to time, I catch myself having a cynical or critical attitude towards people in general, because of the negative words or actions of only one, or possibly, a few people. Someone fails to meet my expectations, puts me down, ignores me, inconveniences me, or lies to me, and before I know it, I think everybody is like that. But I have discovered that it's probably only about one percent of the people I have ever had contact with who have done me wrong in one way or another. That means that 99% of the people I meet are pleasant, honest, sincere, and very friendly toward me. So why not go through life expecting the best of others?

If I want to expect the best of others, I must remind myself that people come from all kinds of backgrounds, cultures, viewpoints, and religions. Each of us is a unique individual, and like snowflakes, there are no two the same. I must remind myself not to judge anyone by his skin color, race, beliefs, convictions, or type of work they do. I must remind myself to give people a chance to be who they are, allowing them the freedom to make mistakes and have opinions that differ from mine. I must remind myself that I will be judged as I have judged others. As it has been said, "Never judge a man until you have walked a mile in his moccasins."

Whenever I become cynical and critical toward others, I know that I have been judging them, and I remind myself that I do not have all the facts, I cannot see a person's heart, and I am not walking in their shoes. I must remind myself not to assume the worst about others but to expect the best.

Let me encourage you to examine your life and the relationships you've had over the years. Then think about how you will treat the people who come into your life today, your town tomorrow, your organization next week, or your business next month. Will you pass judgment on them based on a feeling or how they look or speak? Or will you expect only good things from them and take time to get to know them as individuals?

Don't let judging others turn you into a cynic. Catch yourself at the first sign of negativism toward others, and choose to expect the best! Your life will be richer, fuller, and happier-you'll see!

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