Where Did You Buy That Crystal Ball?

Maybe you think he’s just a jerk, but what if he suffers perpetual migraines?

That selfish person you know, could it be they were badly hurt and abused in the past, and what seems selfish to you is nothing more than a defense mechanism?

The waiter who’s rude, the employee who seems lazy, the husband who doesn’t listen, the child who always causes mayhem…

Do you know what’s going on behind the scenes with them?

Of course you don’t, you couldn’t. And even if they told you, that would only be an abstraction, and communicatable reduction of the whole story.

But what you *can* know, if you’re on the smart side is this:

Everyone, no matter what they do, believes that they’re right, that what they’re doing is normal.

A cannibal sees nothing wrong with eating people.

Mayans sacrificed virgins and were convinced they were doing right by their gods and their own.

A warring politician believes the cause is just and the war justified.

Does that make them right? Does it exonerate anyone from doing harm or being a jerk?

No, but it enables you to put yourself in their shoes, which then allows you to actually get results with that person.

It’s easy to judge others, but before you do, walk a mile in their shoes; that way, you’re a mile away and you have their shoes.

But seriously:

Everybody does the best they can with what he or she has at this moment.

And I promise that your view on them is your interpretation, and is incomplete. Always.

And if you don’t think so and you believe you know what’s going on inside another person, I want to know where you bought your crystal ball.

And if you still don’t get it, flip it around:

How does it feel when someone judges you on something you did or said, without knowing the whole story?

Exactly.

Cheers,

Martin


Also published on Medium.

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