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People are complicated and colorful

From Seawall Beach in Maine Craig explains three negative consequences when we make “convenient” judgments. Convenience is over-rated, he says. Resisting quick judgments and holding ourselves open to all complexities and colors that might unfold has practical, long-term benefits.

Here’s a related one-page Good Group Tip that Craig wrote: Putting people in boxes is not okay.

This video has captions. To see them, click CC on the video screen.

Here’s what Craig says in the video

Hi everybody. Hey it’s Craig Freshley here.

People are complicated and colorful.

You know, it’s convenient for me to see a man with a nice car and think, “Okay, I’m going to think of him as a rich person.” Or I might see a woman with long hair and sandals and I’m going to think of her as an environmentalist. Or I might see somebody over here and I’m not really sure what gender they are so I’m going to think of them as a bit of a weirdo.

Those are of course overly-simplistic ways of me to think of people. And people are never just that thing or just that thing or just that thing. We each come from such complicated backgrounds and we have such wild and different experiences that I can’t possibly try to figure out just at a glimpse.

I might see a piece of your life — like a picture — that you have painted for me in a moment. And I might like that picture or I might hate that picture but that picture actually has very little to do with the whole complexity and all the colors that you have to offer.

I think that convenience is over-rated. We put people in boxes because it’s convenient for me to think of them that way. But oftentimes when we do the thing that is most convenient it messes things up for the long run.

When I think of a person as just this or just this, three bad things are likely to result.

One is, I’m probably going to be disappointed when I find out that my judgment was incorrect.

Number two. I am preventing myself from enjoying all the benefits and gifts that person has to offer.

Number three. I am likely creating a bad relationship with that person. They can tell that I am thinking of them in an overly simplistic judgmental way and they are going to be less likely to want to interact and truly relate with me.

If you want short term convenience and a quick solution that helps you move on to the next thing — and a solution that lasts only for a second — then make simple judgments and put people in boxes. But if you want long-term quality relationships — long-term quality solutions — then hold yourself open to all the complexities that a person has to offer. No person is either black or white.

Thanks for listening. I hope you help your group make good decisions.

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