These observations have proven true for me. They’re mostly about people.
Take any human character trait. Smart, stupid, easy-going, stubborn, kind, cruel. Anything.
Every person on the planet has that trait, possibly in different ways. Every person is smart in one way and stupid in another way.
It’s not right to call one person “smart” and another person “stupid” without context.
Some people think contradiction is bad. I’ve realised it’s natural.
Any time you are in two minds about something, you contradict yourself. You want chocolate cake because it’s delicious, and you don’t want chocolate cake because it’s fattening.
People who contradict themselves aren’t evil. They’re people.
Why are crime rates high, or unemployment rates low? Why did you feel tired today but not yesterday? There are usually many causes, but we want to point to one because that’s easier.
This leads to misunderstanding. Accept that some things have many causes, and that some of them are hard to know.
Every person has a good reason for their actions, as far as they’re concerned.
Until you understand the reason, your opinions are wasted.
Questions like “How could anyone think that’s a good idea?” show that you’ve compared someone else’s action to your own beliefs and principles. This won’t help you understand what happened.
Very few people intend to be malicious. It’s much more likely that the person misunderstands you, or you misunderstand the person. Unless someone confirms that they did something to hurt you, it’s better to assume that you don’t understand.
Generally people change because they want to change. It’s better to show someone something that will make them want to change, than to try to change them.