Note that I didn’t say one easy step. Unfortunately the default programming of humans seems to be tribal competitiveness. However I believe there is a cure. A cure that doesn’t cost a dime.
Have you ever noticed how, most of the time, when a person you love and care about says or does something you instantly find a way to interpret it in a positive light and even if you can’t find a positive interpretation you assume that it was a mistake or, at worst, due to ignorance. Now take that same action, that same statement, and imagine it coming for someone you abhor or distrust. You know, one of them. A person who you struggle to be in the same room with. Notice how differently you react…
Evolutionary biologists tell us this is rooted in our tribal hunter gatherer roots. A time when anybody not part of your closest circle of companions was a competitor in a life or death struggle for resources. Generation after generation has honed this behavior or, quite simply, ceased to exist.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t compete with the stranger I pass on the street for my very survival or for the survival of my loved ones. I can offer that stranger a smile and both our days are a little brighter, a little warmer, because we connected as humans. Humans with nothing particular to gain. Just humans saying I don’t know you, but I bet you’re a good person too.
So that leads us to my proposal. You don’t have to smile at everyone you see. That might be a little uncomfortable or even creepy 🙂 What I intend to do for the month of May is to assume that whatever somebody says or does they are, at their core, a good person and I will do my best to interpret their every action as if it were being done by the person I love and respect most in the world. I’m willing to bet that this will make it a great month. Won’t you join me?