There is ample evidence from evolutionary psychology and brain science that we are wired to make quick assumptions about people based on our culture, perceptions, and experience. This can be particularly true in our current political climate.
The spiritual traditions have offered us alternative ways of seeing people, aimed at encouraging us to not judge by outer appearances, but assuming every person has inherent worth.
Quakers have held that every human has an “inner light” worthy of respect. This core belief led them to oppose slavery long before others in Europe and America.
In the eastern traditions, a common practice is to bow to others with hands pressed together near our heart and say “Namaste,” meaning we acknowledge the sacred presence in the other.
Fifteen centuries ago, St. Benedict created a book of precepts to guide the life of the monks. Rule 53:1 reads: “All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ, for he himself will say: I was a stranger and you welcomed me (Matt 25:35)” This rule is still followed at Benedictine monasteries and has been adopted by many in the Catholic tradition.
With this in mind, I appreciated the following piece by Mike Kerrigan, a lawyer in North Carolina. He has been distraught by the “rancor” that is characterizing our culture and sought out a mentor from his past who might help him approach others in a better way:
I reconnected recently with an old friend and Jesuit priest, Daniel Sweeney, with the intention of asking him.
In the 1980s, Father Sweeney taught world history at Georgetown Prep, the high school in North Bethesda, Md., where I was a student. He’s now an assistant professor of political science at the University of Scranton.
Surely my clerical companion, whether drawing on his priestly or academic vocation, could offer the customary good counsel to which I’d grown accustomed in adolescence. Still teaching by anecdote, Father Sweeney didn’t disappoint.
He recalled a time he’d repaired from the hurly-burly of instructing adolescent males to the tranquility of a faculty lounge. Seated beside him was another Jesuit faculty member, James A.P. Byrne, a priest known for saintly serenity and heroic patience.
Their peace was interrupted by an obscenely loud knock on the door. It was the kind of gratuitous pounding both men instantly knew had been delivered by the sort of student from whom they’d sought respite. Father Byrne got up, exchanged words with the impertinent young man, and returned to his seat.
“Who was at the door?” Father Sweeney asked. “It was just our Lord,” Father Byrne replied serenely, his Irish eyes twinkling, “in one of his most unrecognizable forms.” 
I hope to remember that description and use it when needed.
Image: “My Portrait Surrounded by Masks,” James Ensor, 1899
 “A Priest Finds Serenity in Humor,” by Mike. Kerrigan, WSJ, August 3, 2021