"Everyone puts their pants on one leg at a time."
I can't remember who told me this. I think it was my grandmother. But it doesn't matter because it's one simple, silly maxim that drives the bulk of compassionate feeling in my life. And it has to do with PANTS.
Here's why I love the pants saying:
1. It humanizes everyone. It reminds me we're all facing the same daily grind, the same routine habits, and the same mortal condition. If that doesn't put petty problems and arguments in perspective, nothing else ever will.
2. It reduces fear. Whenever I feel cowed or intimidated by a person of great authority or celebrity, I remember that they still clothed themselves in the morning. The pants didn't magically fly on thanks to their 'famous person' magic powers. They put them on themselves. And suddenly we're all on one level.
3. It humbles me. The "cocky Rocchi" gene is strong in me. Confidence sometimes slips in arrogance. But when I think of this phrase, I remember how I feel when someone doesn't treat me with respect or understanding. It forces me to open my ears, drop the attitude (you thought I was going to say pants, didn't you?), and be sincere.
There's only one exception, courtesy of my coworker Nemo ...
"Best advice I ever got: Everyone puts their pants on one leg at a time."
Give me something new, nemo!!! I know what I say!!
You haven't seen my amazing "jump-into-my-pants-two-legs-at-a-time" act.