When I recently came upon a quote on the web which urged to ‘train your mind to see the good in everything’, I couldn’t agree more vehemently. From where I stand, the quote is spot-on in that it stresses the training part of seeing the bright side.
Surprising as it may be, seeing the world through rose-tinted glasses (which I’ve been charged with on many occasions) doesn’t come in and of itself. Like everything else, it needs to be encouraged, at least from time to time, and like everything else, it can be learned, at least to a degree.
I remember, one year when I was at school, becoming tired of most of my classmates and doubting their value as human beings. Because I wasn’t happy with my negative approach, I decided to make a list of all their names and write three good characteristics next to each one. And you know what? Before twenty minutes were up, I could find three nice things to say about even those that I disliked the most. Even if they weren’t particularly important. And in the following months, whenever I spoke to those people, I tried to focus on those qualities that I found most admirable about them.
Needless to say, this exercise improved my overall bearings very much. But it’s not always easy to think kindly of people whose motives you don’t understand and whose actions you cannot approve of.
Ultimately, the best way of seeing the good in someone is putting yourself in their shoes and understanding where the person comes from emotionally and intellectually. Then, even if you don’t approve, you can at least understand, and that makes you – and the person you’re dealing with – much more humane.
Perhaps I’ve been lucky, because I haven’t met one person in my life of whom I can say was truly evil. Some were selfish, some were shallow, others were always right about everything, few were calculating and vicious. But in the end, every one of them was just looking for a bit of recognition and a lot of love.
I’m glad that that quote reminded me of all that is good in the world, and that all it takes to see it is a bit of internal adjustment of your lens.