After the riots in Baltimore, there were a lot of people who did some great things. Restaurants donated food to the troops who were deployed. Beverages and ice were donated by other stores. Some protesters still gathered to be there peacefully. Because I spent several years there, I have a news feed filled with people posting about this, saying something to the effect of “Baltimore is not all bad, there are lots of good people here.” This is definitely true and I agree completely, however it clearly is not what made it to the national news stories.
Let this be a reminder, that in the minds of many people, whether it is a place or a person or a thing, one awful happening can change the entire narrative. One thing can bring you from “great” to “the one who did this that one time.” Ray Rice was by all accounts a great person on the Ravens, and now after being known for one incident his narrative is forever changed. I’m sure anyone vacationing in Nepal last week will not remember how great their trip was before the earthquake. Baltimore is seen now in the eyes of most as a place with civil unrest, despite being a wonderful place to live almost all the time.
You can change this. Make a habit of not describing people as “the one who did this that one time,” no matter how badly things happened that one time. Instead remember people by getting to know who they truly are and remembering this. The same goes for things and places, it is always your choice to remember all the good, or to point to one event.
Choose to remember the good. It is certainly what you would like to see conversely for how people think of you, and it is a great way to be around essence as much as possible.