Friend or Foe?

The truth is telling. We find that in life, people share a little bit about themselves in every interaction. The brain’s ability to select what information to retain and what details to let go compromises our ability to predict the behavior of people that we routinely encounter.

Patterns. Patterns have similarities, yet are not identical. There is something similar about two lines going in a similar direction, even when one line is straight and the other is squiggly. In some cases, the mind focuses on the directionality. In other cases, the line focuses on the line. Same image, differing perspectives.

We can maximize our prediction power by retraining our mind. We can choose to be more intentional about retaining most or all of the details before us. The easiest person to assess is ourselves. Pay attention to yourself. Your thoughts. The patterns thereof. Do you see patterns? Well, the same patterns that you see in yourself exist in others.

Mastery of the self is key to a deeper understanding about everything. Once we study and learn ourselves, we will better understand the pathway to the perceptions that we develop. We will know why we see the world as we do. We will also learn that our self-perception is not factual. It is influenced by the way we process and select information. Once we understand this about ourselves, it will lend itself to us being more compassionate with others who have a similar process or pattern of synthesizing information.

When we combine compassion with the knowledge that we, like others, have patterns of selecting information in each interaction, we will have an epiphany. We will realize that the truth and what is real to us in each experience is actually an untruth. Acceptance of this untruth opens our mind to varying perspectives, real knowledge, and a heightened awareness of our self-concept.

The elders say, ‘When a person shows you who they are, believe them!’ The implications of this statement cannot be overemphasized.

Some people desire to see the best in people and ignore red flags.

Other people see only the worst in people and see ONLY red flags.

Both extremes diminish the individual’s quality of life.


Harnessing your skill at identifying the synchrony in one’s character is a skill that will serve us and others well. Mastering compassion is the essence of humane interaction. The presence or absence of it has the power to relegate a person as either a friend or foe.


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