Trey Campbell is a leading authority on utilizing biblically-based principles to help leaders and salespeople expand their influence.

The Best of People, the Worst of People

The Best and Worst

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” These are the famous first 12 words of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. They are the basis of a position I hold in regard to those who find themselves successful: successful people are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to see the best in people and the worst in people. In doing so, this helps them determine the person they want to be.

To be blessed with such an opportunity can be a rare thing. You must engage in an activity or pursuit that will allow you to be either directly involved or have a front row seat for such behavior. For me, I see this with the college students I work with and mentor. With their summer businesses of selling learning systems to families door-to-door, they not only have a bird’s eye view but a staring contest of sorts with their destiny.

By meeting thousands of families, they inevitably see the best in people and the worst in people. Of course, there are variables in each person’s life that determines whether they are caught at a good or bad time. However, a person’s true colors inevitably show.

Who Do You Want To Be?

Seeing the best in people and the worst in people has an innate value in it you can’t deny: it lets you determine the person you want to be. Over time, we often become a creation of our surroundings—for good and bad. It’s a choice to decide what we take from these surroundings, particularly the people—the people we meet, the people we love, the people we engage with daily, the people we live with, and the people we are exposed to through TV, movies, social media, and advertising. All of this exposure leads to a blending of our thoughts, behaviors, words, and actions. They all have a part in who we are and who we will become. These are the influencers in our lives—for good and bad, for the best version of ourselves and the worst.

Seeing the best and worst in others drives us in one of two ways: closer to perfection or closer to destruction. Just like a child, we can imitate behavior we become accustomed to and find acceptable enough to incorporate in our life. When we are in a bad circle of friends, we can take on their bad habits and lifestyles. When we are in a good circle, the same holds true. The key is to realize it.

Look and Learn

While on a business trip to Orlando, I met up with an old friend who has had a rough time lately. After talking through it, I shared how some of her issues were because of the toxic environment she was in. Admittedly, she has to yet become the person she wants to be or thought she would be by age 30.

While this was upsetting to her, she also had renewed hope in what lies ahead by switching from the worst of people to looking for the best of people to surround herself with. It’s amazing what changing the people around you can do. It’s like pulling open the curtains of a dark room to let light in. Let others’ positive rays of light shine on you in your darkest moments. Seek to shine your light when others are sinking in darkness.

The greatest gift we can give ourselves is to see the best in people and the worst in people and then learn from it.


One of the most epic openings of a book if there ever was one:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”

– A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens


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