I had cause to be in my lawyer’s office yesterday. Before Sandy became my lawyer, he was a great friend and a respected mentor and I am pleased to say that he now does a great job of all three roles. While I was sitting there he found a way to slide another life’s lesson into the conversation.
Sandy reminded me that we are each unique. This uniqueness is a beautiful thing but it does have some liabilities. He said a dangerous human tendency is to view others as if they have the same values, morals, and beliefs that we have. The danger of course is that they don’t. Everyone we meet is a product of the sum total of their experiences up to that point in time and none of us, no two people on the entire planet, share exactly the same experiences. Therefore we are not the same.
We have to remember this in our interactions, both from a positive sense and a cautionary one. First, everyone deserves to be respected as the individual they are and second, we can not make assumptions about people based on who we are. They are them, they are not you! Take time to get to know people for who they are and then choose your interactions based on those realities rather than assumptions. Sandy’s specific lesson was to be careful, not to give your trust to anyone. But then Sandy is a lawyer so that’s kind of the way he has been conditioned to view the world. I of course am a little less skeptical than that but never the less, it was a great reminder of an extremely important point. Never make assumptions about anyone. Giving people the opportunity to demonstrate who they really are is definitely worthy of the investment of time necessary for reality to be uncovered.