The Affleck Rule

On Nightline last night, they had a mini-documentary about Ben Affleck visiting the Congo and sharing stories of what he saw in the conflict-torn country. As I watched his sunburned face, as he tearfully described atrocities he witnessed, I realized that we need to adjust our perceptions. Like many, I assume a celebrity is all good-looks and little else. That assumption is wrong.

If you think about it, Affleck has proven himself more than a pretty face. He co-wrote Good Will Hunting. He directed Gone Baby Gone. And now he puts himself out there with this venture. Our perception of him, and our focus on his romantic life, does not give him credit.

I think the same can be said of many public faces. Stephen Colbert is a Lord of the Rings devotee like myself. Jude Law is a Watchmen fanatic, just as I am. And both Bill Gates and Warren Buffet play bridge. There are more to people than their public image and you have more in common with them than you think.

So, I am adopting what I am calling the Affleck Rule: “Assume people are just as complex as yourself until proven otherwise.”

I think everyone would act for the better, especially at work, if we all heeded this concept.KO