Tuesday, December 4, 2007

How Being "Off Course" is a Beautiful Thing

“Successful personalities have some interest in and regard for other people. They have a respect for others’ problems and needs. They respect the dignity of human personality and deal with other people as if they were human beings, rather than as pawns in their own game. They recognize that every person is a child of God and is a unique individuality which deserves some dignity and respect.”

Maxwell Maltz, M.D., Author of Psycho-Cybernetics

Dr. Maltz is referring to "Charity" in this quote from his famous book. As I write this, we are entering the holidays and are often called upon to display the spirit of the season. That is, to be a bit more charitable to others.

I don't think most of us intend for anyone to be "pawns" in our own games or overtly seek to disrespect others. Nor do we wake up in the mornings with a purposeful, directed mindset to discount others problems, needs and stresses.

What we do, is find ourselves in a rather difficult struggle at times with a little thing called "life". And, even in times when for a great deal of the world, Maslow's basic hierarchy of needs have been met, life can be a struggle. And, it is with struggle that the base instincts seems to take over and every man for himself is not just a slogan.

Of course it is when we witness someone rise above the struggle and display true charity, that is respect for, dignified caring and recognition of our individual and unique God given value that we give pause. Pause to admire, reflect upon and even emulate them.

I know I certainly don't begin the day with the intent to discount those around me, to not recognize their "godness" within, their boundaries or see them as simply tools to assist in achieving some goal to the extint that they are turned into "pawns". However, I will also be the first to admit that the 'road to Hell is paved with good intentions' and all of us, no matter who, are sometimes guilty of being so caught up in daily struggles that we inadvertently don't show enough 'dignity of the human personality'.

So, if someone fails to do show dignity and respect to you, that does not mean they regard you as a pawn. You see, successful people are constantly having to make course corrections as they move toward the things they want, which means they get off course...constantly.

One important issue, is that course correction is made quickly, like with a torpedo moving toward a target, or the small almost unconscious movement of a steering wheel to keep your car on the road and out of the ditch.

It seems to me, it is imperative on each of us to understand that if you do fail at times to respect the dignity of others, it serves no one to not forgive yourself for having done so. And, it is just as imperative to do the same for others.

You see, we can choose to see a benevolent world or hostile world as the one we occupy, participate in and live our lives. And, on occasion, it is both.

But, ultimately, it is the feeling of respect, admiration and desire to emulate the ones among us that display the characteristics Dr. Maltz describes, which is the true course of action. Even if it is a constant correction, toward charity to others as well as ourselves.

1 comment:

Jeanne said...

Hi Pat... once again a timely post! I agree that most of us do not wake up in the morning plotting how to be disrespectful to others. But... human nature being what it is... sometimes we may find ourselves in huge personality clashes where someone, for unknown reasons, triggers the undignified and disrespectful part buried deep within us!
And as you say... it's important to correct it quickly -- even by removing yourself from the situation. And definitely forgive yourself... and the other person!

Thanks for your wisdom!