I have a deep longing to understand why people do the things or don't do things, even if it's really none of my business, and often that's the case. But even when I disagree with something it helps me to understand why or how it happened. For example, I can understand how a person becomes a bully when I see the abuse they have lived with at home. That doesn't condone the behavior but it certainly helps me understand where it came from. What I've learned is that you can't know a persons heart or judge their intentions.
Several years ago I heard someone speaking about relationships where they talked about assuming the best of your partner. Timothy and I started practicing this in our relationship and then it trickled into other areas of our lives. It takes intentionality but it's so much better for my peace to assume the best of people than to assume the worst of them, their choices, etc.
This is a practice that I try to incorporate in my life. It is one of my values to love deeply and easily. For me it's how I want to be known by my friends, family, neighbors, class mates, etc.
Here are a few other 'mantras' that I remind myself of often that reiterate assuming the best of others and myself.
*Two things can be true at once. (ie. My feelings got hurt. They did not intentionally hurt my feelings.)
*I can be 'right' or 'connected'...but not both. (ie. where is my focus? Is it proving I am right or is it on the relationship?)
*This feels hard because it is hard, not because I am doing something wrong. (You fill in your own THIS)
I hope you find this helpful and add it to your personal growth goals. These may seem simple but remember, that doesn't make it easy...only worth it.