There are many instances in which a person’s life may change, and it may happen that you meet a person at their lowest point.
This tends to generate in most individuals preconceived notions about that person, where prejudices, sentencing, summary dismissal, and indifference are all part of the attitude taken towards them.
But is this right?
Perhaps more than that, the question should become, “Would you have acted differently towards them if you’d known who they were?“
You see, there are furthermore cases where someone does not want you to know who they are (both for good and bad), because they don’t want their reputation to precede them, and influence the interaction.
How do you act? Do you catch yourself consciously being “different” towards a person because of what you know of them, or categorical impressions of who you think they are?
My advice, simply: don’t.
Be yourself, have respect for all, treat them all equally. From the prince to the pauper, they are all human beings with emotions, feelings, a story, and their realities. It is not for you to judge them, for you don’t know why they are who they are, why they have achieved what they have, nor why they have fallen down so badly.
Life is full of surprises, and I’m sure you may have heard the saying, “Be careful who you step on while going up, for you’ll be waving at them on the way down.” Sure, we don’t live with the idea of failure and threats to our life; the idea I promote here is simply to be respectful of others, accept who they are, and to not have preconceived notions of them
Here’s a wonderful story that illustrates this point.
A very famous monk was called to attend a festival in a city some distance away.
He decided to get to his destination by train, but, because of his legendary fame and reputation, he also decided to don a disguise as a peasant, so that he would be left alone in the journey.
On the train, he was ridiculed and treated with contempt by the other passengers, who made no play of openly showing their distaste for this peasant riding with them. He was cast aside, not given a word, and scorned throughout.
On arrival to the station, he was greeted by fellow monks who immediately recognised him, despite his disguise.
Realising suddenly whose presence they were fortunately privileged to have found themselves in, the other passengers rushed to him, seeking atonement for their previously derisive behaviour.
The monk said nothing, and went on his way. The passengers followed the monk all the way to the temple, seeking forgiveness, to no avail; at the temple, the famous monk left them outside without uttering a word or gracing them with attention.
A few days later, the Festival of Forgiveness was held. Again, the passengers came seeking the monk, who once again denied them.
“Please, Master! At least on this day of forgiveness, can you not forgive us our mistake?“, cried the passengers, in desperation.
The master turned to them, and finally opened his mouth to speak. “It is not to me, whom you must ask for forgiveness, but rather to that man on the train.“
What a wonderful story!!
So, do you do the same thing? Preconceptions? False impressions? Judgmental behaviour? I know I did for a long time, and I am guilty.
But the advice I give you is this:
Keep an open mind, and judge not, for you never know who is before you, or why they are in such situations. Learn to forgive. Love men n women equally for they r the same as u.