IN THE MOVIE Made in America, a daughter raids the files
at the sperm bank her mother used, and despite her shock in finding
out her dad is an infamously slick car salesman, she loves him
because hes her dad. Everything is beautiful until they
discover it was a mistake. He really wasnt her dad after
She loved him because she thought
he was her dad. Most of us are like that. We have an automatic
acceptance of people in our family even a distant cousin
we meet for the first time.
What if we treated all people as
relatives? If they are older, we can imagine them to be uncles
or aunts or great uncles or great aunts. If close to our own
age, they could be long lost siblings or cousins. Youngsters
could be our nieces and nephews. Love comes naturally when we
havent labeled someone as other.
Its really not much of a stretch.
In truth, we all are related in one way or another, probably
more closely related than youd think. According to the
experts on genetics, you wouldnt have to go very far back
in time to find where your family tree intersects with your friends
or spouses family tree, or anyones tree you know.
And as you keep going back, the trees cross again and again.
We are all, at the very least, distant cousins of one another
many times over.
Keep this in mind when you interact with
people and the world will feel like a friendlier place.
This doesnt mean you have to become
an easy target for con artists. You dont have to turn off
your good judgement. But you interact with people every day:
the bus driver, the clerk at the store, a neighbor, the people
you work with. Think of them as family and youll feel differently
toward them, and thatll make you act differently toward
them, which will make them act differently toward you,
and voilà! The world is a friendlier, happier place for
Practice it on the next three people you
talk to, and youll see what its like. In your mind,
imagine the person is a relative. You dont have to do
anything differently. Simply entertain the idea that the person
may be related. We all know intellectually were
all members of the same human family, but its nice to feel
When you talk to people,
think of them as relatives.