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More grace would be given to those that cross my path. I would be less guarded and perhaps find more opportunities. I think i would have more grace towards myself as well.
Mmmm, perhaps no assumptions. Just be completely open and available to what is. Putting the “me” aside creates a space for what is.
One of my inlaws annoys me ‘excessively'[?] because she constantly interrupts. Finally I remembered that I also interrupt. Hopefully that will help me when we interact today – wish me luck! 🙂
That is good insight! I hope it helps today.
Oh, I do and I am prone to that too. Always opportunities to improve.
I am reflecting on what “the best” means because I think that could lead to assumptions about people’s motives or attitudes that would just be wrong. I could, perhaps, assume that everyone I meet wants to be the best version of themselves and is struggling with not always achieving that.
Assuming the absolute best in everyone would mean a return to a naive innocence that I am no longer willing or able to return to.
I have not read much of James Baldwin, but I believe that is one of his critiques of the North American world view, that we are caught in a naive innocence. The movie Judy, about Judy Garland’s life story, captures some of this for me.
I am not sure how to reframe the question…
I can be open to looking for and recognizing the best in someone else and be aware of my own assumptions or implicit biases. I generally greet or meet people with openness and optimism anyway. Thinking about their “best self” would add to this. I’m not going to go through the world without some level of situational awareness, though. When I rode my bike with its sign that reads #BlackLivesMatter #EndWhiteSilence past a Proud Boys protest at the state capitol I was on high alert for good reason. (I live in the capital city.)
Congrats, Barb – that was brave of you! I guess it went at least more-or-less ok? 😐
You know, I pedal pretty fast when I’m on adrenaline! It was fine. I wasn’t there to engage but I did want to ride past with a visible statement. That sign is always on my bike anyway. I get more comments from people saying they like my sign then negative interactions, although I did have one rather “energized” conversation as I was parking it on a bike rack another day.
I’m not sure about assuming the best, but I know I could be more open minded and less judgmental when meeting people. I grew up in a time and place where assuming the best, could expose you to harm. I think I prefer being open
minded and letting peoples nature unfold. Seeing things and people as they are and not what I wish/hope they are, is always my goal.
“When someone tells you who they are, believe them the first time”
Sounds like wise thinking to me.
As naive as this sounds,
I might get their best
hmm– how to define best– maybe the idea- person is doing the best they can in this moment— suits. I’ve lost 16K assuming the best, or assuming the person was truthful. So, now, maybe the best that person could do at the time was to engage in fraudulent . behaviours. And the best I could do at the time was to not question motives. or behaviours. . What would change — I would be open to accepting that sometimes people may behave badly, hopefully without judging the person or their potential.
So sorry to hear someone took advantage of you that way. Your story exemplifies what’s wrong with the wording of this question.
That’s a dangerous attitude. The fact is that there are individuals out there who are not what they seem; sociopathic, predatory, adept in the pretense of empathy. My experience is that to “assume” anything, usually makes an ASS of U and ME
Thank you for the much needed dose of realism.
ASS U ME – thanks for the chuckle, Javier 🙂
Funny because I am sure there are first impressions that contradict this question. What would change is having a positive outlook but ALWAYS trust your gut instinct – it is there for a reason.
Gut instinct – that’s a good idea, Michele! 🙂
I would not feel hurt, insulted or in any other way hard done to since I would assume that there was no malicious intent in any action. I would approach people like a happy puppy. Some would most likely think of me as very naïve and others would take advantage of that (and me). Overall, though, it might make life so much more pleasant for everybody.
Like Dusty Su, my first response to this question was to say, “me.”
Then realism strikes. If I see someone walking into the grocery store with a gun I am not going to assume the best about them. I saw a car in front of my library yesterday that had a license plate that said, “GUNS4U.” It is disappointing to me that this kind of thing is in our culture to such an extent. Fortunately, they were not at the library. Hard to assume the best.
I was drawn to this practice because of the duality of recognizing that there is much dark and difficult in the world but there is also beauty and blessing. This question doesn’t seem to fit my perception that drew me here. I struggle with some of my Bible reading in the same way. Perhaps I am too literal in my interpretation and understanding of the questions and readings.
Ah, Rabbit – most of the answers newer than yours also question this question! Your answer is a good one [I say, having read the newer answers] 🙂
Thank you for the support Mica. 💁♀️
I’m in the same place. I seek to be more open and let go of assumptions. That doesn’t mean ignoring reality when it presents itself quite clearly.
Thank you Barb. Nice to know I am not alone in this place.
I was told a long time ago my an old rancher, funny I thought he was old at the time but am I his age now, that “Everyone you meet knows something that you do not.” That statement has helped me tremendously when out among humanity.
That certainly would be a worthy goal if practiced successfully by everyone. I know that I try my best, and I know too, that I’ve yet to reach 100%.
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