Today we ask that you reevaluate someone whom you have dismissed as a “bad person.”

It may be someone you know, or someone you do not know.

Preferably it is someone you may not know very well.  For the purposes of this exercise, it is good to select someone with whom you do not have an extensive history.  It is easiest to select someone about whom you have made more of a snap judgment.  Someone you do not know well at all, and yet you have decided “I do not like this person.”

Once you have made your selection, bring this person to mind.

Imagine who this person was when he or she was a child.  Really visualize this.  See this person as a child, playing.

Now: imagine the person in an emotional moment.  No one else is around to watch this.  This person is all alone; and he or she is crying, in the midst of an emotional moment.

Now: imagine this person sick with a bad cold.  He or she is in bed, sneezing and coughing.

Now: imagine this person in a state of profound joy.  Perhaps he or she is witnessing something very beautiful, very resonant to the soul.

Now: imagine this person laughing uproariously.

That is all.  Notice if your feelings toward this person change.  All humans beings begin as children, cry, get sick, laugh, and experience profound joy at some point in their lives.  To acknowledge this is to acknowledge the deep humanity of everyone we see, every living human.  By doing so, we expand our compassion.

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