Be kind to people. Seems like obvious advice, I know. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy.
Regrettably, people can be jerks. Sometimes they are down right assholes. But you should cut them some slack, because you have no idea what’s going on in their life or what may have happened in their past.
I learned this lesson when I was still working at P&G. It was the annual gathering of the International Team working on the Gillette brand. I was 22 or 23, still just a youngin’.
A couple of days into the meet up, we did an icebreaker that got a lot deeper than anyone expected. Everyone came together in one giant circle. There was probably 40-50 of us. Each of us was asked to share one of the lowest lows, and highest highs in from our life.
Let me tell you, that morning changed me forever. I realized just how lucky I was. And it taught me to be more patient with others. I want to share a few of the themes from that day that really had an affect on me.
I won’t mention names, or even tell whole stories. They aren’t my stories to tell. But try to imagine, really imagine, how different your life would be if any of the following had been a theme in your life.
- Extreme poverty, so poor you can’t buy milk for your children.
- Living with a life threatening or terminal illness.
- Living in a state of constant fear of being physically abused or raped.
- Being completely disowned by your family, literally no contact for 20+ years.
- Unbelievable violence, an entire family murdered for a few $1000 worth of stuff .
- Unexpected loss of a friend, family member, or child.
So the next time someone’s an asshole to you, try to be kind. You never know what they could be facing.
- Be kind to people.