Approach Things Differently

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This is a story that I read recently about someone turning a seemingly dire situation into an opportunity to change someone else’s life. This is the story.

Social worker Julio Diaz was walking home from work one night when a teenager approached him, drew a knife and demanded his wallet. Diaz promptly handed the wallet right over, which is what they tell you to do, but everything after that was just insanely improvised. If you’re already saying, “What did he do, hug the guy?” the answer is no — he took it much, much further.

Right as the kid started to leave (this being the moment that anyone being mugged spends the whole mugging looking forward to), Diaz stopped him and, as he tells it, said, “You forgot something. If you’re going to be robbing people for the rest of the night, you might as well take my coat to keep you warm.”

Diaz reasoned that his attacker must have fallen on some pretty hard times, which is a fairly complex thought to have while being threatened with a knife, a situation where most people abandon reasoned introspection for trying not to shit themselves. When the confused boy hesitated at the turning of the tables, Diaz upped the ante even further by offering to buy them both dinner. Which the boy accepted, probably after checking to see if he had some kind of magic knife.

After eating, Diaz reminded the boy that he wouldn’t be able to buy dinner if, you know, he didn’t have a wallet. While the mugger could have taken this opportunity to flip the middle finger and flee the diner with the wallet and a full stomach, amazingly, he handed the wallet back to his former victim. Not only did Diaz pay the bill, but he then bought the mugger’s knife off him for $20.

Of course, it’s possible that the mugger just went straight out and bought a bigger knife, but we choose not to know.

What if we reacted to other situations the same way that Julio Diaz reacted to this situation? He could have let the mugger walk away and only have been out his wallet and it’s contents. Instead he took a chance and showed the mugger that he cared much more for the mugger’s well being than his own.

If we approach and react to situations the same way that we always do, we are always going to get the same results. If you’re looking for different results you need to take different actions.

What can you approach differently?

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