I put my hand up and say yes it was me. It was me who naively berated the single mother and questioned why this was so. I looked at single mothers and did not realise their reality. They have their reasons. They make their choices – the best for their particular circumstances – whatever that may be.
It was me too who looked at the ‘naughty’ boy and wondered how this child could be this way. Bad parenting- that had to be it. I did not see how the parents tried everything! They were at their wits end. The child had learning difficulties.
It was me too who held myself at such a high level that I thought I was rolling around in my own lunch box – top of the bunch. In other words, I thought I was better than you. I felt I was better because I am intelligent. I did not realise that doesn’t mean you are street smart or that you can work greatly with your hands or are highly creative. I did not appreciate that different people have different strengths, different roles, different values.
Until something changed.
I became the single mother with the ‘naughty’ child. And I grew up.
I realised that my judgement or perhaps fear of others was centred around my own perception of what I thought ‘being perfect’ meant. The idealistic perception I suppose. And then to look at the perspective of what ‘being perfect’ means. I have one idea. You may have another. These days the idea of ‘being perfect’ does not exist in my mind. I would rather just be, and I do not believe it matters if its perfect or not. Then again this is my perception and may be different to yours. Do you believe you have had or have perfect moments, perfect children, perfect possessions?
Everybody has different experiences, levels of tolerance, understanding and compassion. And these words (experience, tolerance, understanding, compassion) they’re all connected.
Just because you understand does not always mean you should tolerate.
Just because you have experience does not mean that your experience is exactly the same as someone else’s.
Just because you tolerate does not mean you understand.
In my view, everyone can be compassionate regardless of whether they understand, tolerate or have experience. It does not mean they always are.
Perception: the way in which something is regarded, understood or interpreted.
Experience: an event or occurrence which leaves an impression on someone.
Understanding: the ability to understand something.
Tolerance: To allow the existence, occurrence or practice of something without interference that one disagrees with.
Compassion: Sympathetic concern or pity for the misfortunes of others.
Your thoughts and emotions impact directly on your actions. How you view the world in totality is a reflection of your experiences, understanding and level of perception.
Underneath all of that there is judgement. Judgement is always a two way street. There are always two sides to the coin. An individual with the greatest good intention can perceive that individuals should have compassion and understanding and yet they are judging the individual for being not compassionate and lacking understanding. For example, we will use the analogy of two school boys playing; one with learning difficulties, the other not lets call him the ‘perfect’ child. The parent of the child with learning difficulties coins the parent of the ‘perfect’ child as one who is not compassionate or understanding after she tells her child not to play with her son who has learning difficulties because she perceives him as ‘naughty’ as illustrated here.
So some reflection: how is your perception? Has it changed as you have grown? Do you have any insight into why it has changed? Do you agree or disagree with what I have written about?
If you would like: tell me below or email me at email@example.com if you would like to change how you view yourself or your world I may be able to help.
Have fun and enjoy your journey!