When you give people the benefit of the doubt, and you assume they come to you with the best of intentions, your reward will be a healthier mental attitude and improved interactions with others.
Don’t believe me? Try it for a week and see for yourself! Here is what I have found:
Most people try to do what they believe is best, given the level of knowledge that they have. Admittedly, things can get difficult when a person’s knowledge is limited, or significantly differs from my own. Such situations require patience and understanding. Continue reading →
What should I have done? What should I do next time? I need your advice!
On the way to work one morning this week I stopped at the service station down the road for coffee, as is my habit. When I went to the counter to pay, there was one customer in front of me. Although it was warm outside, he wore a long jacket over thick pants, and it looked as though he might have slept in his clothes. On the counter was a single can of beer. It was 6:45 AM.
I was just three steps behind, but that was far enough I could not hear the initial conversation between the customer and the cashier…but then their voices grew louder. Continue reading →
This test will tell you if you are unconsciously biased when you look at faces of strangers. Read on…
Psychologist Alex Todorov has conducted research at Princeton University proving when we see a new face, our brains decide whether a person is attractive and trustworthy within a tenth of a second. Within a tenth of asecond! In less than a second we decide if someone is beautiful or unattractive, if someone can be trusted, or if they look shady. We make important judgements on people before knowing their life journey, their worldview, or even their name.
Look at the people below.
How long did you look at the pictures? Perhaps just two and a half seconds (a tenth of a second for each face)? What judgements did you make in that time?
If you were standing in a room with this group of people, and you were told to “partner up” with someone, who would you seek out? Who would you avoid?
Would you feel uncomfortable if any of these people sat next to you in your place of worship? Or on an airplane? Continue reading →
Tonight, I sit in my great-grandfather’s adopted hometown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The lights below me shimmer from city center out into New Jersey. From my window, I can see the part of the world my great-grandfather lived most of his adult life.
This photo of my great-grandfather was taken before 1915, and was used in his autobiography. At the time of the picture, he had adopted the name Paul de Meurers.
Earlier this week I walked along the streets my great-grandfather named in his autobiography. I was cognizant of occupying the same space more than 100 years later. I observed young homeless men preparing to sleep on the sidewalks. Many were the age of my great-grandfather when he, too, was homeless, trying his best to survive on the very same streets. Continue reading →
Immigrants Francis Cooke, Hester le Mahieu Cooke, Jane Cooke, and Experience Mitchell
Francis Cooke (my ten times great-grandfather) was a Mayflower passenger. I stumbled across his lineage while investigating the Packards in Part 22. Francis was born in England in 1583. Curiously, we find him living in Leiden, Holland, about eight years before John Robinson and the rest of the Pilgrims arrived. This period was before the time of Protestant persecution in England under King James, so the original motivation to move to Holland is unknown. His occupation was that of wool comber. Continue reading →
Immigrants Thomas Grant, Jane Haburne, Ann Grant, Robert Emerson
Thomas Grant (my nine times great-grandfather) was born in Hessle, England in 1600. He, his wife, Jane Haburne, and their four children, sailed to America on the ship John of London in 1638. Their youngest child, Ann (my eight times great-grandmother), who was but an infant at the time of their immigration, in fact, they departed shortly after Ann’s baptism. Continue reading →