May Practice: Meeting People for the First Time

This practice was developed for the Fetzer Institute by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, directors of SpiritualityandPractice.com.

To ponder
Hugh Prather, author of many books of spiritual reflections, considers the steps necessary for forgiveness in Morning Notes: 365 Meditations to Wake You Up. He concludes that "a judgmental feeling about another person is based on the same belief as my fear of making mistakes: I think what someone once did is more important than how the person is now."

To try
Practice meeting people as they are right now, as if you were meeting them for the first time. If their past actions dominate your perceptions, this will be difficult. Notice how your feelings and availability change when you start with a clean slate.