Imagine you're in New York’s LaGuardia Airport. While you're waiting for your flight,
you notice a kiosk selling shortbread cookies. You buy a box, put them in your traveling bag and
then you patiently search for an available seat so you can sit down and enjoy your cookies.
Finally you find a seat next to a gentleman. You reach down into your traveling bag and pull out your box of shortbread cookies.
As you do so, you notice that the gentleman starts watching you intensely. He stares as you open the box and his eyes follow your hand as you pick up the cookie and bring it to your mouth. Just then he reaches over and takes one of your cookies from the box, and eats it! You're more than a little surprised at this. Actually, you're at a loss for words. Not only does he take one cookie, but he alternates with you. For every one cookie you take,
he takes one.
What's your immediate impression of this guy? Crazy? Greedy? He's got some nerve?! Can you imagine the words you might use to describe this man to your co-workers back at the office? Meanwhile, you both continue eating the cookies until there's just one left. To your surprise, the man reaches over and takes it. But then he does something unexpected. He breaks it in half, and gives half to you. After he's finished with his half he gets up, and without a word, he leaves.
You think to yourself, "Did this really happen?" You're left sitting there dumbfounded and still hungry. So you go back to the kiosk and buy another box of cookies. You then return to your seat and begin opening your new box of cookies when you glance down into your traveling bag. Sitting there in your bag is your original box of cookies -- still unopened.
Only then do you realize that when you reached down earlier, you had reached into the other man's bag, and grabbed his box of cookies by mistake. Now what do you think of the man? Generous? Tolerant? You've just experienced a profound paradigm shift. You're seeing things from a new point of view.