My job is to find dirt. To be more specific, I look for dirt and other quality issues on the painted bodies of luxury cars. I am an auditor and finding dirt is one of my specific functions. I know what dirt looks like underneath the paint and can spot a speck that is smaller than a millimeter. When I go looking for dirt, I find it.
Before I was an auditor, I built cars for the same company. I didn’t know what dirt looked like and honestly I didn’t care. My focus was functionality and performance. I cared about what was on the inside.
Those who look for the bad in people will surely find it. –Abraham Lincoln
Finding dirt on people is just like finding it on cars. If you go looking for dirt, you will find it. We can find all kinds of things we don’t like about other people. If that is our intention, nobody, not even the good ones, will stand a chance. We will find a way to criticize even their positive aspects. We see it in politics. We see it in our coworkers and even with our family members.
I get paid to find dirt with the hope that our customers won’t see it on their cars. I would rather they focused on the inside which contains the majority of the car’s value. I don’t get paid to find the dirt on the people in my life. Doing so will drive them away and create an unnecessary chasm between us. I would rather focus on their inner qualities. That’s where their real value lies. By focusing on that, we have the chance to strengthen the bonds between us.
This is a good thing to keep in mind this Christmas season. We can begin with the friends and family we will see over the next few days. We can carry our practice into the new year giving us the opportunity for true peace in our lives.