When I was at school, I had a brilliant art teacher called Mr. Stratton.
I was among the first students that he taught and as such, he fondly referred to us as 'the Stratton Originals.'
Apart from having to suffer the indignity of being the only girl in the group, I really enjoyed his classes. He used to let us play rock music while we worked.
One day Mr. Stratton looked over my shoulder, and saw that I was painting a tree. I was about to paint the trunk, and as I reached for the tube of brown paint, he stopped me.
'If you look properly,' he said, 'a tree trunk is not really brown. It's actually a mixture of all sorts of more subtle colours.'
I've never forgotten this little nugget of advice – now I will always look to see what colour things really are before I will go with any preconceived notions of what colours things should be.
And if you want to get philosophical about it, maybe you could apply the same principle to people? Hmm!