Choose to See the Best in People
"Find the best in everybody. You might have to wait a long time, but people will show you their good side. Just keep waiting, it will come out. And be prepared. Luck is truly where preparation meets opportunity." Randy Pausch I've been following a Minimalism 30-day Challenge. On day six, I was asked to list my friends' best qualities. It was quite easy actually. I'm very lucky because my friends are kind, sensitive, strong, insightful, interesting, thoughtful, active, community-minded, soft-hearted, loving, honest, nonjudgmental, smart, adventurous, protective, trustworthy, good listeners, loads of fun, oh-so-helpful, respectful, fearlessly huggable, genuine, encouraging, forgiving, dependable, understanding, optimistic and a whole bunch of other truly positive qualities. I'd never consider making a list of the worst qualities because I don't see those. When I am with my friends, I'm surrounded by goodness. I am the most whole that I ever am when I have the energy and spirit of these men and women, I call friends. If I become self-deprecating, my friends turn those statements around. I know how it works because I do the same for them. It's what you do when you love someone. Why, then, is it so hard to see the best in people that aren't so loving, dependable, understanding, and respectful sometimes? I know it's a mindset. Everything about my existence comes from gratitude. When I spend time in thankfulness, everything around me seems more positive. And consciously or not, I look for the best in everything. But life isn't always easy like that. As a Rotarian (for nearly 9 years!), “in everything we think, say, and do, we ask ourselves....is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?" That litmus test makes decisions so much easier. Sometimes, though, I miss that step about "what we think." After all, those are MY thoughts, right? Nope. Those thoughts are putting out energy into the world whether I say it out loud or not and it's not good energy if I'm (even privately) judging someone. Many years ago when I heard "The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch, I listened to those words. "Find the best in everybody." SERIOUSLY?! But that person is a jerk. That person doesn't care about anyone but themselves! As soon as I started thinking those things, I stopped looking for the best in them for sure. But if I look for the best in them, my attitude changes, my energy changes and maybe, just maybe, that attitude and energy can change the situation. I wholeheartedly believe that it will. That person might just go away and I don't have to deal with them at all anymore. Or that person might start feeling a lot better toward me because I'm seeing their best. Regardless of what happens, it is my choice. So today, I'm choosing to see the best in people. I'll wait to see their good side. And as I'm so busy watching for the best in everyone, hopefully those times that I'm a jerk, someone will take the time to look for the best in me.