One of my all-time favorite things to do for a vacation is go on a cruise. A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be on a ship with my husband, relaxing on the deck while watching the ocean pass by.
As much as the water calms me, at some point, my attention always turns back to the people.
Looking at them, I wonder who they are, where they’re from, what they’ve been through in their lives, what they do as a profession, and pretty much every other question you could have about someone you don’t know.
And I wondered how many people I’ve seen or interacted with on that boat who were “famous” by definition or who had done absolutely amazing things in their lives and yet, here they were, surrounded by others who had absolutely no idea.
That’s when it occurred to me that, if we all did one thing, it could really change the world. What thing is that?
What if we treated everyone we passed by or interacted with as if they were famous? What would do you think would happen then?
Today, it seems like many people are so engrossed in their own lives that they don’t even recognize others around them. They’re lost in their phones, engaging more with the virtual world than the one that exists right in front of their face.
Then there are the people who are quick to make snap judgments, deciding that you’re a bad person or somehow wrong before you even have a chance to be right.
But what if that changed? What if we treated others as if they had done something amazing? Something that, if we knew the whole story, we’d say, “Wow! You did that?” Because here’s the thing.
Most of them have.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked to a random person that I’ve met in my everyday life and they’ve shared a story of something incredible they’ve done.
For instance, just recently I was out walking and met an older gentleman who lives in my neighborhood. Talk of the weather quickly led into life in general and he began to share stories of his time in the military and how difficult it was to transition back home due to the stigma he faced.
This guy was having people say horrible things to him and treating him less than human just because he wore a uniform. But through strength and perseverance, he moved forward and spent a great career helping special need students live a more fulfilling life.
I remember thinking that this man was truly amazing with everything he’d accomplished, yet, had I just passed by with a wave — like I normally do when out walking — I would’ve never known.
So, I challenge you, if you really want to build your grit and become a better person, start treating the people you meet as if they’ve done something incredible. Because they likely have. You just don’t know it. Yet.
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