Advice from a good friend years ago revolutionized my life. “Treat every person that you meet as if their heart is breaking; chances are, it probably is,” she told me.
Sometimes when we look at people from the outside, we might notice their scars or bruises and their beautiful or their funny faces, but we all know that we must look much deeper than the surface to really begin to understand what makes them tick. Admittedly, it took me quite a while to figure this out and not just jump to any quick conclusions when I meet people for the very first time.
This list is not by any means a conclusive list but it really helps me culture and develop healthier relationships with people from all walks of life. Basically, I attempt to challenge myself to appreciate the uniqueness in each individual. I try to see how that person came to be who they are, how all the trials and tribulations and successes are all wrapped up in the package that makes that person who they are. I truly attempt to find out the following before I make any judgments and decisions. Call it the full spectrum of humanity, if you will.
Taking into consideration where a person is raised, the environments they were raised in, the belief systems, the traditions, manners, habits, attitudes, hurts, trauma–basically the whole package–helps me to more fully appreciate the people I know or come to know.
I put on my special glasses and look through these five lenses:
The CULTURAL lens of habits, traditions, and beliefs
The SOCIAL lens of associations, and connections
The ENVIRONMENTAL lens of circumstances, and conditions
Th EMOTIONAL lens of hurts, joys, and feelings
The INTELLECTUAL lens of education, knowledge, and understanding
Within moments, and a few questions in friendly conversation, information is captured. When I do this. lives are changed–mine and everyone I touch.
There you go ... my secret sauce.