Imagine for a moment I gave you a photograph, a still picture from your favorite movie. Not the movie, just a photo. Then I asked you to take that photo into a crowd of people and try to convince them that still picture was the whole movie. I mean point to the photo and say, “Wow, look at that movie, what a great movie right?” When the person told you it’s just a photo and not a movie, you would exclaim again, “no… look, I’m telling you this IS the movie!” They in turn would probably disagree and it would be hard, despite your conviction, to convince them that this one single picture could be the entire movie.
Yet this is what we do with people’s lives every single day, by hearing their opinion and passing judgement. The “movie” of someone’s life is about 70 years, the average lifespan of a human being on this planet. Yet we meet them on one day, in one moment, they make one statement, offer one opinion – we then judge them, box them, categorize them, and if we don’t agree…we dismiss them, they’re done.
You take the 70 year movie of someone’s life, seize on one photograph from that life and pass a lifetime judgement on that person. Amazing. We all do it, or at least I used to.
I have been listening to the “7 Levels of Intimacy” from Matthew Kelly. On that recording he tells the story above, which I have taken the liberty to paraphrase. When I heard this it made me re-think certain things about myself and about those around me. And with everything going on in this country and around the world – its seems timely and appropriate.
Whatever your opinion, the reality is this, everyone you meet, every single person is going through something, never forget that. On top of this, they had their own form of education or lack thereof, grew up in their own environment and most likely had different life experiences than you. Their opinions are formed by those experiences. How could we possibly not think, any of us, that their opinion might be different from ours. And how can we pass judgement on someone in that one moment… never to hear what they have to say again, or argue to the death that they are in the wrong. As Matthew Kelly relates, “what people say is interesting, why they say what they say…fascinating.”
I’ve resigned to not let other people’s opinions sway me in how I view them, or how I wish to help them, or if they are so angry at me because my “opinion” might be different, and if so, not to engage, but seek to understand, to accept and to respect the movie of their life.
Opinions don’t really matter. Everyone has one and so many are different. But we all have this movie of life and photograph after photograph after photograph make up what I hope is an award-winning film of each person and their time here on this planet. I sincerely hope the movie of anyone’s life is the greatest story ever told, it’s certainly possible for anyone, but if not, then what can I do to help them make it so. That’s the work of life. Because in the end, life’s about love.
That’s just my opinion.
Until next time thanks for taking the time,
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