Consideration and Respect

Room with a view

Near Horizon

I started a new job recently. Beyond the glass walls of the building, in the near horizon, is a curious and distinctive message: “Let’s adore and endure each other.” Writing on the wall always makes me think.

At first glance, the message seems like a useful reminder. To remind us of the value of being generous in spirit and kind to our fellow man. One thing’s for certain, the work is by an artist who lets their art speak for itself.

As I stare at the wall from afar, a new perspective starts to emerge. I begin to wonder about the words and what they mean in practice.

Adore” and “endure” are both emotionally-charged. The first makes me think of love and the second of tolerance. Both are united by passion. Both require us to pass some judgment on the object of our passion, in this case, “each other”.

Thanks to Marshall Goldsmith highlighting the top 20 flaws that prevent people from becoming more successful, I’ve learned that being over-judgmental and passing judgment too quickly is something to be aware of. As with so many things, bad habits die hard.

The Dangers of Loving and Hating

“Loving and hating” is one of the coping stances many of us adopt when we are imbalanced or feel stressed out, according to Gerald Weinberg. Both represent two sides of the same coin. Loving often materialises itself as favouritism while hating often manifests itself as prejudice. Either way, both of them impair our ability to consider a situation objectively.

Tolerance and Thinking

The idea of “enduring each other” sits uneasy with me. It conjures up a multitude of negative ideas. The first is that tolerating someone usually stems from and reinforces a lack of respect. The second is the idea of putting up with a situation instead of looking for ways to improve.

An example of this is when people say, “That’s the way Jane is. She’s got some skills, but it’s her personality”. What if continuous improvement meant that we can turn everything into a skill and a choice? This would mean we could learn, unlearn and re-learn things that define us as individuals. If we choose to change. I’ve seen people go through transformational change when they realise that a) you can only change yourself and b) only you can change yourself.

Strangers to Ourselves

In the words of Marie Curie, “Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.” Acknowledging this is the first step towards making sense of the many tenuous threads of the nest in our heads.

One Response to “Consideration and Respect”

  1. christina justice writes:

    Thank you so much for your wisdom and insight into respect and consideration. Christina

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