Abraham Lincoln once said, "I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better."
Does that ever ring true with me. It is humbling and very rewarding to see in a new light someone who put you off at first. I have been as guilty as anyone to misjudge. I think back to my youth, when like most I was prone to reject someone because of small matters. I remember in the 7th grade casting jealous aspersion on a new boy who was an academic rival of mine and because he wore a bow tie to school the first day! That attitude continued throughout high school. At our 30th reunion, without getting into the embarrassing details, I tried to make amends. He was not receptive. But the point was, I was ready to give him overdue reconsideration. And, I was sorry.
Now, I am still as liable to make instant judgements. There are so many ways. But I always carry the caveat that this is an impression subject to liberating reconsideration. This is an awareness that does need further development.
No doubt this bit of benign wisdom helped Lincoln negotiate and come to appreciate some of the very difficult people he had to deal with.
Still to come: Chills, "But, he’s so smart…", Thrills II