While stopped at a traffic light at a busy intersection in the city of Los Angeles on a late Saturday night, a young bearded man wearing a blue flannel shirt walked between the stopped cars holding a sign that read, “Please help me.” Walking up to the right side of my car, I rolled down my window and handed him a few dollars. Thanking me, he turned to the truck to my right. As he turn and looked into the truck, he stopped in his tracks.
For what seemed to be a frozen moment in time, the two men locked eyes and recognized the uncanny resemblance they had to each other, down to the very same blue flannel shirt. The young bearded man in the truck, seeing this young man that could be his twin asking for help, rolled down his window, reached into his wallet and handed him a large wad of cash.
The young homeless man, taken aback by such a generous gift, tried to give the money back, but the young man in the truck insisted he keep it. As the homeless man finally accepted the generous gift, the light turned green. They quickly shook hands and the young bearded man in the truck drove off into the endless sea of traffic.
The three of us were changed forever.
If you came upon a stranger that looked exactly like you needing assistance, would you help? I imagine you would. I know I would. I would find it hard to turn down a reflection of myself.
But now imagine that a complete stranger that looks nothing like you asks for help. What would you do? I know you already know your answer. But before you commit to that answer, imagine taking a second to see all the fundamentally similarities you share with this imagined stranger.
From this place of fundamental similarities, would you be more inclined to help?
Now imagine that you practiced this in your everyday life. How would your life be different if you began today to first recognize all your fundamental similarities with everyone you encountered you before you recognized your differences?
I can tell you that if you can master this, seeing the fundamental similarities first, you may never get around to seeing the differences.
Present Life Mastery Coach
Copyright 2009 Rob Gruber