I love this quote and the story attached to this image in the Kindness Blog. What this quote means to me is that we should treat each being we encounter (human, animal, whatever) as worthy of the highest respect, kindness and understanding. Lately I’ve been reading this book by Debbie Ford called The Dark Side of the Light Chasers. It’s basically about how we often project things we haven’t embraced in ourselves onto other people. For example, if you’ve always been irritated by people who are arrogant you will react negatively if someone calls you arrogant even if you aren’t. Ford theorizes that we react because we haven’t embraced the gift that arrogance can mean for us. Being arrogant does have its gifts. If you weren’t arrogant you might not have the nerve to go up in front of people and give a speech, or perform a song. That’s just an example. Ford makes a good point that when we look at other people we often don’t see the person as he or she really is at that point in time. What we see is often what we react to: something we either like or don’t like in ourselves. So one of the best gifts we can give someone is to see them as they really are. Not what we think they should or shouldn’t be.