In the practice of law, there are those who classify and stereotype instead of observe. No two people are alike. Each person has their own life experience. It may be the same act as had occurred with someone else. After all, there is nothing new under the sun, but for that person the act had a different effect. It was theirs. They owned it. What happens in each persons life is unique to them. The observer views the differences, not the similarities of human-kind. The observe neither stereotypes nor classifies.
It was early in my career that I found myself setting the law to one side, as I began listening to my client, as an individual. I became intrigued with motivation and effect — did they act from fear? Did they act from greed? What caused them to act or react in the manner that they did? What was the motivating factor that created the problem that brought this individual to my office?
At first, I found myself making judgments. In time, I realized that I could better see the depth of character and of story if I made no judgment, if I only observed and absorbed what I saw. Through the years, I have met many colorful individuals, each independent, each different. I observe what gives them joy or what has caused deep pain. In learning to be an observer, my life has been enriched by others.
The collage of human experience is more than the experience itself, more than the person having the experience. With each observation, a new richness is discovered.
I have shared some of my activity in observing in two books: “Observer: The Ronnie Lee and Jackie Bancroft Spencer Morgan Story, a tale of people, greed, envy, manipulation — even crime” and “Observer: The Colonel George Trofimoff Story, the tale of America’s highest ranking military officer convicted of spying”