Let’s Resolve To See People As People!

Question-and-ExclamationThis could be the resolution that changes everything!

  • That one over there isn’t just fat.  She’s a grandmother.
  • That one isn’t just lazy.  He’s a U.S. Veteran.
  • That one isn’t just a bitch.  She’s struggling to feed three children on one income.
  • That one isn’t stupid.  He has a learning disability and learns differently than I do.
  • That one’s not just black.  She is the favorite Aunt of an adorable little boy and girl.
  • That one isn’t just overly talkative.  He’s insecure and overcompensates.

Every single day we make snap judgments that color how we see the world around us.  The truth is that there isn’t a world around us.  There are people around us.  We quickly sum up the people around us to fit people into categories that allow us to stand at least one level above them.  Rather than empathize and get mired down in what their “story” might be, we hurriedly slap a label on virtually every person and shuffle right on past them.

Perhaps our investments are appreciating in areas that won’t actually help us to realize tangible gains.  It’s possible that we’re missing out on the most important investment opportunities with which we could be presented.  Potentially, we’re breezing right past our most precious of needs and neglecting to live life as fully as we’re meant to.

I recently read Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting out of the Box, an outstanding book about our treatment of people as objects instead of actual people.  The title may not be one that would turn you on or grab your attention, but the meat of this book has the power to change your perspective completely.  In essence, the story challenges us to personalize our lives and the relationships that comprise them.  It convicts us over and over again to {Tweet that!}  

Here’s the kicker:  We’re not just doing this in your head.  We’re demonstrating this behavior for everyone around us to see.  When we roll our eyes, others see it.  When we exhale in an exhausted way, others hear it.  When we “jokingly” put someone down, everyone feels it and suffers it.  When we make a joke behind someone’s back, we are colored by the brush we use to paint them.  The saddest part of all is that everyone around us already knows it.  They’re not telling us, because they think we already know it, too.

Good news!  We can fix this immediately!  If you’re still drawing breath, it’s never too late to live an incredibly rich and fulfilling life.  Start today by acknowledging that the world around you is actually made up of individual people.  You will, no doubt, encounter hundreds of people today in one way or another.  Make it a point to see each of them as individuals.  That means the clerk at the fuel kiosk, the woman in the car next to you, the guy in accounting, the person working closest to you, your cousin, and even your spouse.  We’ve slighted every one of them in some or many ways, and that can change immediately.

I would love to hear how seeing people as people has changed your day.  You can bet I’ll be sharing mine! Please share yours in the comments below.  Tomorrow Begins Today.

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