The Story We Tell Ourselves...
We interact with people every day. We have no idea what these people do for a living, what they like to do in their spare time, whether or not they have extended families, or anything at all about them. Yet we make assumptions about them based solely on their appearance, and how closely they resemble somebody we already know a "little bit" about. For example, we assume tall girls play basketball or volleyball, since we have tall friends who do. We see somebody driving a luxury car, and we assume they have a significant amount of disposable income. What happens when we see somebody who we "think" is in a lower socio-economic class than we are, and they are driving a BMW, or a Mercedes Benz? We automatically think that they are a free-loader, or that they are cheating the system. How can they drive that car? I can't afford that kind of car, so what are they doing? Probably something illegal! Right? Maybe they are an entrepreneur who does not dress like you expect them to. Maybe they have had the car for a while, and they lost their job nearly eight months ago. Now, they have officially run out of savings, so the only thing they have left is their car, which they are dangerously close to using as a house, too. Is that possible? Sure it is. Just as plausible as either of the other stories. The person you see is either a champion for staying the course, a business owner, or they are despicable. All it depends on is which story you tell yourself about them. Try to choose the story that puts them in the best light. That favor may be returned to you some day. Just remember, regardless of what you think; they have changed nothing...except maybe your perception. Think about that.
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Dan and Amy Allen are Educators and Advocates for Students.