“There are two types of people in this world: those who divide the world into two types of people and those who don’t.”
Corny. But funny.
Been thinking about people a lot lately. Some days I feel like I have a good grasp on the basic motivations of those I meet. Other days I walk away from someone thinking, “Did that really happen? Holy cow.” Sometimes the only way you know someone’s motives is to directly benefit or be ruined by them. Then you know.
I do believe there are two very common types of people in this world. The first type is the person you meet and immediately dislike, dismiss, or disregard. And then, over time, you figure out you completely misread them, their intentions, and their competency. Oops. Eventually, those people become the most trustworthy, loyal, and wise people you know.
The other type is the person you immediately like, respect, and value. And then, over time, you figure out that you have completely misread them, their intentions, and their competency. Oops. Eventually, those people cause you much grief, misunderstanding, and represent much of what you believe is wrong with the human race.
Here’s the problem. There are only two constants in both of these scenarios: you and a good long stretch of time. This may be up for debate, but I believe we should always give people the benefit of the doubt. I could also tell you to follow you intuition. But from what I can tell, the only way to distinguish the first type of person from the second is to interact with them for a significant period of time.
Luckily, Jesus gives us some insight into this in the parable of the wheat and weeds. Now, most scholars will point you to an schmaltzy end-times/judgment scenario with this. And that is accurate. But I also think there’s more to the story. Simply put, there are “weeds” that grow alongside “wheat.” And it’s no accident that the farmer tells that rookie laborer to sit back and let them grow. Here’s why – the “weed” Jesus is speaking about is called Darnel. It will make you seriously sick if harvested and processed into flour. Oh yeah – and it looks just like wheat. But the only way to tell it apart from the real thing is to wait until they are fully formed. Then the head of the wheat stalk tips over at harvest time. Then separating the two types becomes simple.
Same with those we meet. Reserve judgment. Most of us have been both “types” of people. I have. Treat everyone the same regardless of how you much you believe they belong in category 1 or category 2. Otherwise, you might harvest the wrong crop.