A thought crossed my mind: how do people see me?
And graciously, the answer came to me – you know how sometimes you get that instant insight? – possibly because I’ve learnt about this before and the answer was stored already somewhere in my mind.
Anyways, the answer came: people see me the way they choose to see me.
Immanuel Kant said “we see things not as they are but as we are” (some have attributed this saying to H.M. Tomlinson.
An honest, trustworthy fellow sees those qualities in others; a man that cannot be trusted trusts no one. People with prejudice see everything bad in the other person.
This is so important because the knowledge of it shields you from the misunderstanding of others. If you have acted fairly, justly, rightly and truthfully, then you can sleep soundly and walk with your head held up high, not minding the opinion of the critics.
But equally important, perhaps more important, is how this knowledge guides you in the way you see others. Do you look with the eyes of prejudice and pride, or do you look with kind, caring and understanding eyes? Do you judge before you truly know, or do you patiently observe and choose to know the truth?
In the end, the way you choose to look at others determines what you see in them. This determines how you relate with people.
And ultimately, your happiness and even true success depend on this.