Like most people, I am in a few Facebook groups for my town that offer up things for sale and recommendations for businesses for people in our area. In the last week I have seen people asking for recommendations for a lawyer, a mechanic, and a cake baker among other things. I have no need for any of these but because I’m nosy curious, I look at the comments to see what people have to say. I’d like to say it’s because I want to know if there is anything new in my town, but really it’s likely because I believe the places I use are the best, like most people do, and I like to see if everyone else is on board with me.
How do you rate?
Today, someone posted a very specific request of “Has anyone used ABC mechanic and what was your experience?”(obviously, I’ve changed the shop name to protect the innocent). The responses were crazy. No one was on the fence about this place, there was a clear line in the sand – people either love or hate this place. People either had been going there for decades with fabulous results, or went once and their lives were never the same from the headaches this place caused them.
I’d dealt with them and had mixed results so I panicked and couldn’t pick a side so I just read without chiming in. Sometimes I went in and it was fine, other times I left frustrated. Honestly though, I think that can be said about a lot of places. They have good moments and bad moments – no one is perfect all the time. The debate roared on so I never did comment, but watching it happen got my mind going.
What if life worked like this and we all decided who we would interact with and how we would treat them based on the reviews or recommendations of others. What if people handed out ratings of 1-5 stars about all of us? Then, before other people would interact with us, they could go online to search or ask others for recommendations.
How would I rate?
“Hey, thinking about joining a book group with Danielle – does anyone have any experience with her?”
“Anyone ever sat next to Danielle at the Memorial Day parade? Pros and cons?”
“Looking for opinions on Danielle as a neighbor. Is it worth saying hello?”
I promise you there would be comments and they would likely be from two camps, just like ABC mechanic’s were. I figure it would likely be either people saying “she is an amazing person” or people saying “she is literally the worst.” While others would likely shrug and reply “who?” or “she’s alright. Could do better, could do worse” with a shrugging emoji for good measure.
Maybe the mechanic couldn’t get parts because of a supplier or maybe they really did miss tightening a bolt once that led to a major issue for someone. Maybe they also fixed someone’s car at cost when they couldn’t afford it and sponsor Little League teams. Judging off opinions that are only one extreme or the other is dangerous.
What if someone saw me litter once or heard me get short with a stranger in a moment of frustration? If they never saw me volunteer at a school or help feed the people in my town they wouldn’t know the whole me. Just like those who see me do good, may struggle with my mistakes. And it’s not just me – it’s everyone. We’re all a wonderful mixture of good and bad, success and failures, and ups and downs. The balance makes us human and should be the reminder we all need to give people a chance, form our own opinions, and be objective in our opinions of people.
Make up your own mind
Instead of tying people’s worth to the opinions of others, we need to try to find a way to go off our own experiences. I’ve been focusing on that the last few months and I’m finding myself happier with myself than I have been in awhile. I know I will never be enough for some people. I also know it’s personal, some people are never satisfied with what other people do. Everyone gets a three star rating in their world no matter what.
I am too much for some, not enough for others and that is perfect because I am not here to live for others – I’m here to live my life as who I am. Sometimes the results will be fantastic, other times disappointing, but always fully authentic. That’s what matters most when we deal with people (or places) in life. No single moment, no matter how good or how bad, defines us.
We’re all gloriously, simultaneously one and five star people – and that’s the best review ever.