Here is a little story from the life of Prophet Mohammad. He was overly courteous, always willing to sit down with anyone, even his opponents and strive to bring good to this world, even at enormous personal sacrifice and cost. His humility and lack of any pretension was legendary. He even asked his people not to stand up in his honor when he came upon a group or an individual.
One day a men showed up at his door and knocked. His wife, Aisha realized that it was the same man who spread lies about her husband, aided his adversaries and found every opportunity to discredit him. She was not about to open the door. But the prophet himself got up and called him in as if he was receiving a friend and conversed with him as long as the man wanted to speak with him.
When the man was gone, she asked the Prophet why he invited the man in and gave him such attention that she felt was underserving. Prophet’s response was something we can all take lessons from. He said, “there are people in the world who think bad of other people and behave badly because of such stereotypes.”
Can you think of such a moment in your own life? Perhaps regarding your own spouse, a colleague, a neighbor or a fellow traveler in the airplane? How about a person of different religion, from a distant part of the world, a person of opposite gender, from a political party you do not belong, a country you are at war with, a competitor – the list can stretch as far as the eye could see.