Over recent times I’ve re-connected more with the world outside of here. I’ve met and also heard stories (internet is such a terrible way to share bad news!) about others. It reminded me that as a human being we often have the natural inclination to judge or be judged.
I’ve felt as though I’ve been judged and found wanting! Yet in return I’ve wanted to tell tales about my feelings to someone else.
Then I was reminded of a great book I had read by Stephen Covey, The seven habits of highly effective people. It is one of the few books that I have bought on my journey with me.
There is a quote from it that came back to my mind
‘It’s not what happens to us, but our response to what happens to us that hurts us’.
Yes we can physically get hurt which can cause sorrow but our character does not have to hurt at all! So the first lesson was, that I should hold my own counsel, so that people I get to know can see me as a person with respect for myself, respect for others and that I can see the potential in people not just their history.
In the book there is another great quote and that is from Goethe
‘Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and he will become as he can and should be’
There was an example used, two groups of school kids, who because of a computer glitz got classified as ‘bright’ when they were not and the others as ‘dumb’ when they were not. So the teachers thoughts were ‘I’ve got the bright kids’ or ‘I’ve got the dumb kids’ and so they treated them accordingly.
The result 5 months later were that the ‘dumb kids’ had dropped IQ levels and the ‘bright kids’ had all gone up.
Amazing how a perception could be so wrong and could cause such a problem.
Perception is an amazing thing and it can take hard work to release yourself from inbuilt criteria you have and the thoughts that they lead you too. Sometimes, you need to stop and treat someone as they should be, or see something as it actually is.
I’ve used this picture once before. Initially it looks like an ordinary couple holding hands as they walk down the street. It was actually a son leading his blind Mother around with such trust from her that a gentle hand hold was all that was needed.
The second lesson was to be careful of perception.
Yet sometimes neither respecting or perception are any use and we need to find a way to weed out people who should or should not be in our lives. I was given a card from a friend who was at one point trying to help me review the path I’d chosen.
It is about Mr Wrong and Mr Right. It could be Mrs Wrong or Mrs Right. It could just be a person you have met, who will never be close to you but could still be toxic.
Time to check out those close to you.
Mr/Mrs Wrong Mr/Mrs Right
Shouts Is cheerful
Smashes things Supportive
Glares Says ‘you look good’
Calls you names Says ‘ you’re competant’
Makes you feel ugly/useless Uses your name
Cuts you off from your friends Trusts you
Stops you working Trusts your judgement
Never admits to being wrong Likes you to be independant
Turns your children against you Admits to being wrong
Never shares housework A responsible parent
Expects sex Accepts ‘no’ to sex
Controls the money Shares finances
Threatens or wheedles for own way Supports your career
Expects you to be responsible for them Takes responsibilty for self
Not a full list but gives you an idea as to how we can be controlled to easily when we don’t take our responsibilty to act as a reasonable human being.
Just as I was writing this, a facebook message was shared and I thought how appropriate.
Third lesson, look at things from all angles, be the person you want others to be to you, don’t always judge a book by it’s cover. Yet know when something is not right for you be prepared to challenge it or leave it gracefully behind.