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It's easy to judge someone based on one or two brief interactions. *Insert some quote about judging books by their covers here.* Just think of how often it happens. Picture where you work or go to school, and how many people are there. There are maybe ten people that could be considered more than acquaintances, a handful of close acquaintances, and all the rest. The latter category can be very diverse if one so chooses to care. There's probably a good portion that actually fall into the sub-category that is decent people. However, because no one really takes the time to care or take note, the vast majority of people in "the others" category are likely to be judged as lesser people. More commonly known as Assholes. But who really does care, and why should you?
Everybody has some form of value to this world no matter how small. If you spend your days thinking of someone as weird or stand-offish but never talk to them and discover that they share many of the same virtues as you do, you could miss out on having a best friend. The same goes in the business world. If you never connect with someone because of one thing you've heard through the grapevine, you could potentially lose a million dollar investment. You could miss out on literally infinite opportunities because you never gave a completely good person a smidgen of room to come into your life.
The technique of asshole labeling is also very mentally unhealthy. It's very negative and probably corrosive to your mental well-being. Many things require a specific mindset, and not automatically labeling people is no different. Actually it's fairly simple. All it takes is having an open mind. The problem with automatic judgement is a fear for change and a love for comfort. If you are willing to open your mind to new opportunities and experiences, then first of all, you're going to have a much better life in general. But secondly you'll find it much easier to talk to people and appreciate their value. Once you do that you can easily see what they have to bring to you, even if it's a smile.
So, "how do I start?" you ask. Start with a smile. Instead of walking around focused solely on getting to your next destination, try simply observing your surroundings as you go and throw a smile out to someone that you may have put into the asshole category without much thought. Chances are you'll receive at least a head nod in return. Heck, maybe that person will smile and wave! Maybe they'd even have a conversation with you. Then they might pass that smile on. It doesn't take much to spread positivity. Sadly because it's so rare to come upon random good deeds people really take them to heart.
Who knows why people are so afraid to step out of their shell. There could be hundreds of reasons, but it's most likely because most people have been taught to be comfortable and put up walls. Those walls need to be taken down because eventually they'll break all connection. Not every one is a asshole. But everyone does have some form of social protection in place so you shouldn't take it too meaningfully if someone scowls at you. Send them a smile to remind them that we're all human.
So start smiling. Because people are simple. All they want, all they need, is connection. But we now live in a world that is afraid to connect. Because people are afraid to spread positivity, countless opportunities for positive collaborations and bonds are missed every second. If people would open up a little more and stop being so stuck with what they have, then we could see a society of more positive change-makers. Spreading happy is easy. It all starts with a smile.