No-One Is The Villain Of Their Own Story
You’re walking down the road, the sun is shining and you pleasantly whistle a tune to yourself. As you turn around the corner you’re confronted with a stern faced man crying out “Fuck the world!”. You throw him a disgusted look and think to yourself “What an angry man” whilst giving him a wide berth.
It’s a separate dull and depressing day. You’re running late for work and dash outside without an umbrella. It starts to rain, you forgot your wallet and bus pass, damn! You resign to walk. As you stumble around the corner you stub your toe and cry out “Fuck the world!”. A passer by gives you a disgusted look and walks around you. You think to yourself “What a dick, anyone in my situation would have sworn like that”.
No-one is the villain of their own story
Every move we make is justified to ourselves in some fashion.
- Mary didn’t tip her waiter. Turns out that she thinks that all industries should get tips, or just pay people fairly and making a stand helps to change things.
- Maurice didn’t pick up his Costa Coffee cup off the sidewalk. However, he didn’t even notice he’d dropped it, he’s all up in his head, classic Maurice.
- Jared left the toilet seat up. Yeah, well Jared thinks it’s more convenient and he only lives with guys.
Unfortunately, other people don’t know what you’re thinking and experiencing. So they don’t realise why you’re in a bad mood, or why you have that obscure belief about crop circles, aliens and probing. Alas we may never understand about your probing encounter. But we can give people the benefit of the doubt when we catch ourselves judging them.
Try thinking to yourself “What great reason could that person have for behaving like this?”. Turns out when you give it a little thought you can easily come up with reasons why Luke decided to call you a cunt on the phone. Were you being a little insensitive for the thousandth time? Even if you can’t come up with a good reason for their actions, maybe they just didn’t think about it or had no idea they were doing it:
Don’t ascribe to malice what could more easily be explained by ignorance
Most people aren’t bad, but many are lazy, stupid or ignorant.
Don’t worry, you are still allowed to judge people. When we start engaging with an individual more frequently, Doris for instance, by observing Doris’ behaviour over time we can start forming a more accurate understanding of why she makes the decisions she does. And then you can start judging Doris for leaving her dirty drawers out on the side. But don’t be too hasty, remember, Doris still thinks she’s the good guy.