May life treat you exactly the same way you treat waitstaff, store clerks, senior citizens, children and animals. 

May life treat you exactly the same way you treat waitstaff, store clerks, senior citizens, children and animals. 

Are you making an effort to continually act in kindness to those around you?

It is easy to get caught up in the myopia of one’s own existence, such that we are less cognizant, or aware of the feelings of the people around us, with whom we are engaging in an almost trancelike manner. 

When we are working to achieve whatever it is in life that we are in the midst of accomplishing, it is potentially easier to lose sight of common courtesy, kindness, and compassion. 

When I see people who are literally verbally abusing another human being whom, I am most certain they do not know, as their metaphorical punching bag, I am hard-pressed not to step up and suggest a kinder, more respectful alternative. 

It is hard for me to see people being mistreated. I am probably hypersensitive to it and subsequently when I am around such behavior, it is so offensive to me, I feel the need to intervene. 

This is not always a respectful, nor recommended practice, but there just seems to be something about this simple courtesy that troubles me when I  notice that it is severely lacking on a public display. 

The opportunity to do exactly the opposite has always struck me as the greater gift in life… for when you are a person of service or similar, and someone goes the extra distance to be warm, friendly, kind, and genuinely human in your presence, it is a benefit in life that you would never presume to take for granted until you have been treated as a doormat by others. 

Over 45 years ago, before I started the Illusion Factory, I stood behind the checkout counter at a supermarket, and was genuinely surprised at the arrogance and rudeness that some people would exert in my direction…for no cause. 

At first, it used to really offend me, and eventually it took my putting it into a more healthy, competitive perspective in which I viewed the other party as being so off-balance that they could not control what came out of their mouth, and that finally turned the tables on my continual discomfort. I decided that in the face of their arrogance, I was going to make them smile. No matter what.

I would work to smile at such a person, and pay them a complement about something that they are wearing or say something warm and engaging and I with tally how many times I could convert somebody who acted towards me as I have described above, back into a human being, by warmly reminding them that I am a human being as well. If I got them to be kind and polite by the end of our exchange, I counted that as a win on my side.

Whichever side of this equation you find yourself on, do not give up on other people. Instead, try to employ a tactic that snaps them out of their current delusion and helps to beckon them back into the world of reality. 

In retrospect, this skill learned working at Albertson’s has served me for 45 years of working with Hollywood.

Happy Friday!

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Written by Brian Weiner
When I was 5 years old, I discovered that the lemon tree in the backyard + dixie cups + water and sugar and I was in business. I have been hooked on that ever since. In 1979, I borrowed $14,000 to create a brand new product... photographic greeting cards with no text on the inside, called Paradise Photography. That was the start of The Illusion Factory. Since then, The Illusion Factory has been entrusted by all of the major studios and broadcasters with the advertising and marketing of over $7 billion in filmed, live, broadcast, gaming, AR, VR and regulated gaming forms of entertainment, generating more than $100 Billion in revenue and 265 awards for creativity and technology for our clients. When I took a break from film school at UCLA to move to Hawaii, my mother did not lecture me. Instead, she took 150 of her favorite aphorisms and in her beautiful calligraphy, wrote them artistically throughout a blank journal. That is the origin of the Lessons from the Mountain series. Since then, on my journeys to the top of a mountain to watch the sunrise, I have spent countless hours contemplating words of wisdom from the sages of all races, genders and political persuasions, constantly accumulating the thoughts to guide me on my life path. I hope you enjoy my books. Please let me know your thoughts, as I highly value your feedback!