Ugh, I probably shouldn’t be blogging at three in the morning when I have to be up in five hours. I’m seeing Avengers at ten thirty tomorrow…well, technically today, and I don’t want to fall asleep for a second. Not that I think I will. Sorry, off topic.
I’ve been reading this book called Everybody Always by Bob Goff. Just a simple book reminding me to love everybody. Always. Hence the title. But a small line in the book blew my mind.
We start to see that our time here isn’t meant to be spent forming opinions about the people we meet. It’s an opportunity to draw the kind of circles around them that grace has drawn around us, until everybody is on the inside.
I have a terrible habit. Whenever I meet someone new, my mind starts flagging them for good or bad qualities, like a TSA agent scanning for metal objects. This helps me form an opinion about their character, to see if they’re someone I’d like to hang out with in the future, or avoid.
Does this person seem like they have an agenda? Red flag. Are they talking about themselves too much? Red flag. Do they not have a sense of humor? Red flag.
I tell myself I do this out of self-defense, but really it’s just fear.
I don’t always do this. Sometimes I pour myself out to people when I feel like it. I have a lot of great friendships that were born this way. One time, I was at a party where I knew mostly everyone, except this new guy. Let’s call him Hester. Hester only knew one person at the party. For some odd reason, I decided to strike up a chat and be the friendliest, most welcoming person I could be. I honestly have no idea why. It was one of my good days.
Hester continued to come to our future parties, even when the one person he used to know moved away. He’s just a really cool dude who’s fun to hang around.
I never did my flagging thing with Hester. We just got to know each other as friends.
What if I treated everyone like that? Even people I might have heard iffy things about.
What if I stopped trying to form opinions about the people I meet and just tried loving them instead?
I think I’d have a lot more positive encounters. And a lot more friends.