I was sat on the London Underground the other day and there was a guy, on his own, reading the Evening Standard. All of a sudden he burst into hysterical laughter! I mean he was howling, holding his stomach like it was waiting to burst. He then proceeded to walk along the train, telling everyone about a story he’d just read where a guy had tried to hold up a Betting Shop with a can of sardines. Well, you can imagine the reactions. Some just looked ahead, you know the, “If I don’t look at him, he won’t talk to me” type thing, some pretend laughed but with that look on their face of “Don’t encourage him, please move on, please!’, some asked polite question back or pleasant comment. Well I bet you’re wondering what I did. I just sat there, trying to look cool and unfazed, but inside saying, “Oh god, don’t come and sit by me!” I suppose on a surface level we all thought that this guy wasn’t the full shilling, if you catch my drift. But do we REALLY know that? I mean, he could have been just genuinely wanting to share his unadulterated laughter with everyone around. He may have thought that we all looked miserable on our way home late from work and he wanted to inject a little bit of sunshine. Come to think of it, he was smartly dressed, clean and presentable. I mean just what does a crazy person actually look like!? I wonder how many times we are quick to judge, to form an opinion? Because that judgement, that opinion then drives what we look for. If we think someone is crazy, we’ll look for crazy, we won’t consider they may be just different. If we think someone is ignorant, we’ll look for ignorant, not that they may be incredibly shy. If we believe someone is useless, we’ll look for useless. We won’t consider they bring other strengths. Someone once said to me, “You’re perfectly aligned for the results that you’re getting” and I always thought that meant the result at the end, a number, a tangible. Well now I realise it can also mean my perception of someone. The real challenge here is not to judge too quickly, but if you find you have, then tell yourself to look for evidence that casts a doubt on your belief rather than to support it, because your belief may not necessarily be true. Anyway, who in his right mind would try and steal from a Betting Shop using a can of sardines!? Funny right!
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