I would like you to take a look at the following screengrab which I capture from Facebook.
Question: What is your impression of the driver of this vehicle?
Lucky for this car owner, this picture didn’t go viral.
The same could not be said for a fellow colleague of mine who parks better than this car over here, attracting over 300 angry comments and became the talk of the town overnight.
She was extremely frightful: it seems that the whole world has just turned against her!
Yes, the netizens have a right to be angry.
- She did make a mistake.
- She did cause another driver not to be able to park in an adjacent lot.
- The inconvenience she caused may have a bigger unforeseen consequences.
The other side of the story is that they do not know her. They do not know the real her:
- They do not know what’s going through her mind then.
- They do not know what she has gone through in the week.
- They ignored the fact that she probably has parked 1000 times correctly before.
- They focus on that single wrong doing, causing an hour of inconvenience to another drive who would like to park in an adjacent lot to hers.
Sometimes, I asked myself she deserved such a reaction from the online vigilante community.
It’s a lose-lose situation. You have an angry mob, I have a hurt friend, and the world is an angrier place.
Let’s try this:
Why don’t we extend our the most generous interpretation possible to the intentions, words and actions of others?
In Brené Brown’s book, Rising Strong, one of the practice that she mentioned was this concept of extending the most generous interpretation about other’s intention.
For me, it was also about giving the rightful respect to the person by giving them a benefit of a doubt. And I’m also trying hard to put it to practice in my classroom.
For instance, a common scene in the classroom, a student did not do well for his test but why? Most of the time, it is NOT because the student is lazy, it’s usually something else. And has the student already tried hard enough and did his/her best?
If that is the case, shouldn’t we be giving more encouragement to the person in need?
And to my dear colleague: just focus and try harder next time. Will be behind you.