That was not fair!
We went for a walk with my husband. Rain had fallen previously and the forest path around a lake was slippery. A family was walking to the opposite direction and just as they were passing us, the little boy slipped and fell.
"Ouch!" he yelled but got up to his feet and cleaned the dirt off his trousers.
"Why don't you ever look where you are going?" the mother asked, turning just in time to see the boy get up, and then continuing her walk.
"That was not fair!" the boy shouted at his mother's back "Saying that is not fair! I slipped! I didn't do it on purpose! I slipped. It was not fair for you to blame me!"
That made me think our attitude towards people we know well. Have we created such an inflexible image of them in our minds we always expect them to behave accordingly? Here the mother apparently had seen her little son do all sorts of childish things, maybe break things and get his clothes dirty (as a little boy should, really). And so she immediately reacted with the "not-again..." approach. Without even giving the son the benefit of a doubt.
I felt sorry for the little boy, but applauded in my mind at his response. He clearly pointed out to his mother that her comment was not fair. And it wasn't. I saw him slip of the wet rocky surface and it definitely was an accident - he was walking carefully, not running. All the mother managed to do was to make her son feel unfairly treated and angry.
I hope she said sorry, but I did not hear their conversation for long.
Now of course each of us has moments like this. We are tired, we are stressed, and so we slash out on others sometimes without pausing to think.
But it wouldn't do any harm to sometimes really look at someone we know and pay attention to our attitude towards them. If that attitude is negative or frustrated, maybe it is a good time to start searching for the good in that person.