We can slow life down. Seeking mutual respect and mutual benefit from those around us is an all-inclusive effort. When we become genuinely interested in others we halt the portions of society that attempt to engineer our social lives. Instead of the world attempting to sell us something we allow companions to sell themselves to us. In doing so we establish true friends. We become more self aware of humanity itself. We participate in society rather than permitting society to direct our participation. When we reach this state we become more aware of how we affect others. By exploring others we learn how someone in their life has affected them. We may even recall how we have hurt others in a similar manner. Who might be speaking about how we have brought pain into their life? We probably did so unaware all along. We were too inundated with the world to notice.
To develop successful life-long relationships we must be quick to recognize our mistakes. Acquaintances often remain silent when we are at fault. They may only make a tangential inference, perhaps a change in tone or body language. Even when we think we are right, it only matters how we are perceived. As we investigate the curiosities of friends we fine-tune our own ability to recognize perception. Imagine the last time in which someone really made a mistake that inflicted pain in our life. Imagine then hearing this person criticize themselves for this mistake to their closest friend. Maybe they are too embarrassed to speak directly to the one that they have hurt. In complete humility we can criticize our own mistakes in front of anyone.
If we intend to keep relationships on the mend we must take eagerness in criticizing our own faults. We all make mistakes. Not all of us admit them. Even fewer approach the wounded party to offer self-criticism. By willingly beating our own self up we invoke the mutual benefit and mutual respect of others. Since we all know that we make mistakes we find an easy path to empathy when approached with self-criticism. We free our selves from the opinions of others in so doing. Our adversaries may attempt to use our mistakes against us, but how can they when we offer such public humility to admit fault. By admitting fault we show that we are self aware and ready to correct the fault. Even Robert E Lee has been quoted as saying this after Gettysburg, "All this has been my fault." After this statement our ancestors proceeded to rebuild the union in a way that provided freedom to all. How much more of an impact can we make today if we all admit our faults?
Copyright © Robert Clinton Chedester 2012