What if today you looked at those around you with compassion and decided they don’t have bad intentions? What if you believed good about them?
Let’s play that out a bit. The idea is that no one wakes up in the morning thinking, “I’m going to cut someone off in traffic today.” No one wakes up and says, “Today is a great day to argue with my spouse.”
No, most of us wake up with the hope to have a good day and be decent. If you believe this about yourself and about others, then you can see yourself and others through the lens of compassion. If we can believe that there are no bad intentions, then we can learn to look for the real intentions. If there’s a behavior that we don’t like or action that seemed crazy, maybe we can investigate with compassion why it happened.
Imagine if the next time someone cut you off in traffic, you ran through possible good intention scenarios: maybe they had a meeting across town and they’re desperate not to miss another school event. While it doesn’t excuse the behavior, it does soften your heart and maybe even your blood pressure. That’s totally worth it!
Or let’s say you and your spouse get into another argument about money. Though it might be hard to quelch any ill will or anger, taking the time to think it through is better for your mental and physical health. Maybe you come to the conclusion that your spouse’s intention is to provide for you and to make you happy and current situations aren’t allowing them to do so. That might lead you to the conclusion that maybe they’re just feeling unworthy or inadequate. How might you respond to someone feeling that way differently? It’s a totally different ballgame.
In today’s world, it’s much easier to blame others, be a victim and not believe people are good. But that’s not a fun way to live. Choosing to believe there are no bad intentions takes a lot of faith and a lot of work, but it leaves you seeing the world the way Jesus did: with compassion and love. #lovegoggles Moreover, it’s better for your health and for your relationships. Our world certainly would be a better place if we were all intentionally looking for good intentions.
Think of of a time this week where someone else made a mistake or did something you didn’t like. How can you investigate their intentions with compassion?
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