Contributed by Julie S.

Agatha Christie’s alter-ego, Miss Marple, is an old spinster who spent all of her life in a tiny village called St. Mary Mead. She is able to solve murder mysteries by creating parallels from the suspects to the people in her village.  In the book, The Thirteen Problems (affiliate link) by Agatha Christie, Miss Marple solves thirteen mysteries all while knitting in her chair.  She claims that people are not as different as we like to believe.

While Miss Marple was able to solve the mysteries, I was unable to solve a single one.  It doesn’t matter. The mysteries are so intriguing and I like to be surprised.

As I look at my own experiences, I have to agree with Miss Marple.  People are more alike than they appear.

For example, I had one friend who was often anxious and always talked about how worried that his actions would hurt people intentionally. He would talk about how he hurt people in the past and that he didn’t want to hurt people any more.  When I first met him, I thought his concern was an act of kindness.  In the end, he wound up hurting me; but, since I had bought into his story of not intending to be hurtful, I quickly forgave him. After all, I believed he didn’t mean to do it.

Not long after this I met someone else.  I must point out that while this person didn’t remind me of my friend on the surface, there was something they had in common.  She too was worried about how her actions would hurt other people.  It was a major concern in her life and she was anxious about it all the time.   It wasn’t until she hurt me too that I realized that she was the same type of person as him.

Both of them were not as concerned about hurting people as they said.  After all, we all have concerns about hurting people, but we avoid hurting them by thinking about how our actions may cause pain ahead of time.  I found, after some thought, that these two people may have been concerned about hurting others, but not enough to actually do anything about it.  Instead of thinking ahead and understanding how they can cause pain to others, they did whatever they wanted.  Everyone was quick to forgive them since they talked about being a concerned person all the time.

Now I understand to avoid this ‘type’ of person—people who worry about being hurtful but do nothing about it.  I have found that they often have left a trail of bad love relationships, complaints about co-workers, poor family relationships and so on.  While I’m still kind to everyone, I’ve just become more mindful and observe human behavior more closely.