You are a winner when you stop judging
Amity, bookkeeper for a marketing company in Yakima, Washington, told Session 2B of the Leadership Development Lab:
"A year ago June, I was a participant in the Gap to Gap Relay Race. I am a recreational runner and will enter the occasional race as a source of personal motivation. This particular leg of the race was a field run, which is basically a 2-mile sprint over rough, uneven terrain.
"At the starting line, I sized up my competition. As I looked around, I noticed an older gentleman in his 70's. I was pretty confident I could beat him. On my left was a young girl with Hugh Hefner like pink bunny ears on her head, the kind you see on Playboy models. I guess this was her metaphor for being fast, a fact I would remember later. Lastly, I spotted another younger woman completely made up with her hair all done fancy and loads of makeup. I couldn't quite understand or figure out how to interpret her dress. The gun went off and I easily passed the older man. Next in my sights was the 'lipstick mafia' woman. I finally passed her around the halfway mark and put all my effort in chasing down 'bunny ears.' I never did catch her, but still felt like I had won by passing two of my 'chosen' competition. While having dinner with friends later that evening, I was telling them about how I beat 'lipstick mafia.' As it turned out, one of my dinner companions worked with her and told me she was 3 months pregnant! Boy, did I have egg on my face!
"The lesson I learned from this experience is to never judge a 'book' or a person by their cover or makeup. The action I call you to take is get all the facts about your 'competition.' Don't prejudge anyone. Get all the facts, give people the benefit of the doubt, expect that they have more potential than may be apparent on the surface. The benefit you will gain is that people will pleasantly surprise you."
I love this light, humorous story because of its images. Amity used such colorful, pictorial language with texture and action that it makes it easy to see the cross country race and little dinner party on the movie screens of our minds. This story reminds us while entertaining us of how important it is to be very careful in making judgments about people, things and circumstances. We are reminded of the importance of setting aside judgment until we have all the facts. I know this is a judgment, but I believe it's one I will make – things are never as they appear on the surface. There is always more to the story than meets the eye. Take a closer look, look a little deeper. You will be amazed at what you discover.
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