This question was prompted when one of my kids responded to a discussion on treating everyone ‘the same’: “Geez, if we treated our friends like our siblings, we wouldn’t have any friends”!
So why do you ‘adjust’ and treat people differently? Why is it an exception to see a sibling treated like a best friend? Why not treat the doctor providing you service the same as you would the person picking up your garbage each week? Why not treat the person waiting on you at the restaurant the same as you would the policeman that just pulled you over?
Is it normal for you to treat people you don’t know better than those closest to you? Or do you treat only those close to you with kindness and alienate those outside your circle of friends?
Why not treat each person with kindness and respect regardless of their profession, their station in life, what they’ve done or what they can do for you? Why not treat each conversation, each relationship or each encounter as if it was the most important thing regardless of the individual?
Does every individual deserve to be treated with kindness? People that have made bad decisions or have wronged you, do they deserve to be treated with kindness and respect?
Do you at times seek opportunity to feel ‘better’ than someone else? Do you feel like you deserve to be treated better than others based on your accomplishments?
People that are self-centered and prideful tend to treat others poorly. The preoccupation with self blinds one from seeing the importance and value of each individual. Judgment and prejudice overtakes respect and kindness. Appreciation and gratitude is overtaken by entitlement and condescension. Thus missing out on so many opportunities.
People that are kind to others are so because they treat others the way they want to be treated. A natural by product of this focus is seeking out the needs of others. Shifting focus from self to others enables one to experience their own value as an individual. Through such experiences one feels joy and happiness, one of the many benefits of giving of oneself.