If I have an actual object like a pen, it comes from the factory and it exists for me, for the consumer, to use. That is what it is for.
If it does not produce ink, if it does not write smoothly, then I’m going to shake it to make it do the thing it is supposed to do.
I do not talk to the pen and say ‘What’s going on, pen? How are you feeling today? Are you sad? Is that why you are not producing?’ No, because it is just an object. It does not have an internal life. It does not have feelings. It does not have reasons.
Often, we find ourselves treating other people the same way.
When we see people for who they truly are, the way we understand our best friends, our close family members or our children, our perspective is totally different.
If I were driving down the highway and somebody cut me off, and I looked over and saw that it was my beloved best friend, I would not think ‘Oh, what an ass.’ I would think ‘Oh, my gosh, what’s going on? What has happened in her life to make her drive this way? There must be some sort of an emergency.’
Because in that case, her internal life and her reasons matter to me.
When I see a person as a person, I see their internal motivations and the reasons for their behaviour.
When I see somebody as an object, I just see what they have done that bothers me.
All I see is how their behaviour is interfering with the stuff I’m trying to do, and I do not give any thought to why they are doing it, and what rationale and understandable reasons they might have.
Can you imagine how different the world [and our workplaces] would be if we all did that 5 percent more?
Love people, use things.