Recently I was speaking with a neighbor of mine when I made an observation, in which I was also included. She turned to me and said, “It’s probably because they are afraid of what you might say.” She said it in an honest, but giggly manner. I tried to brush it off, but here’s the truth. It’s not my problem what other people think and view of me. Now, I’m not saying rudeness is right, and I am not a rude person, most people aren’t, but I am saying people often choose an idea against what was intended because of where they are coming from, and what their past dictates. None of us know peoples pasts exactly, so it is possible anything we say or do, can end up being misunderstood or misinterpreted.

It’s unfortunate for some that they choose offense when none is intended. It’s unfortunate that our humanness sometimes gets in the way. The truth is, I am a good person with a good heart and I have a lot to offer my neighbors and friends. It’s sad that sometimes folks cannot see beyond one past incident or past something. Everyone is growing and changing and learning. How many times in our lives do we look past someone for something because of something they said or did years ago? Would we personally like to be judged on one thing from our past?

I know there are many people who choose growth. I am not the only one who ends up amazed at how different I thought some one would turn out, or how different someone is from what I thought they were. For instance, if you’ve ever gone home, or to a 20+ year high school reunion, how many people have changed? All. How many are doing and are the people that you thought they would be? Zero. People change. People do not stay the way we think. Everyone has said or done something in their past that others did not think was “right.” However, are we giving everyone the same chance in our minds and hearts to be the people they can be potentially? I think it’s worth considering.

Perhaps we are passing people up who have more to give. Maybe we can consider that. We usually learn the most from the least expected people. Let’s not sell ourselves short because of what we think we “might” know, or we “might” expect. In the end, we “might” be surprised. It “might” be good to open our hearts to opportunities of growth to allow the growth of others. It is my hope we can move beyond what we have judged people to be, so that we can allow others the same chances we wish for ourselves.

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