“I have found it of enormous value when I can permit myself to understand another person.” – Carl R. Rogers
I shared a recent post to Facebook about last weekend’s Super Bowl halftime show. I had some great responses from old friends and we landed on this, the performer had the best of intentions. And, this is when I started reflecting on what made me so quick to judge and label. Then, I remembered that I’m human and to be human is to judge. We want to name things, categorize them, and most of this is done in the name of safety or sometimes to make ourselves feel better about ourselves or about the world.
My graduate school internship and post-grad experience was done within a setting where a Client-Centered approach was emphasized. Carl Rogers is the founder of that approach, and I find his work and writing to be fascinating. To practice these skills requires dedication and constant self-examination. I love it.
When I find myself in a position of judging, in my head or in a discussion with another, I remember this: “He/she/they can’t be all bad.” And, that’s the truth. When we look deep enough, we can usually find and see the good. And, in my old corporate job we started from a position of looking for the positive intent that came from others.
It’s difficult to do, but if we can look at others and wonder with curiosity about what it is like to be them, how they formed their worldview, how they came to believe what they believe, it can be profoundly influential to the dynamics of that relationship. It is only when we can truly begin to accept the other as who they are – exactly who they are – that change begins to happen.