by Marion Marks
A person who spends time observing what others say and how they project themselves works within personal bias and limited confines. Every person will see issues based on what is important at the time of their observation. None of us make judgements in a vacuum.
A barber will notice the style and quality of a person’s haircut, a clothing merchant will notice the clothes worn by each person as they pass thru the day and a salesman will see people as if each is a potential customer. This is basic human nature, and there is nothing wrong or anything to be ashamed for having a discerning eye. It’s the responses you make from your judgment that may require some modification.
A person with an overly critical eye always seems to notice what is wrong with others rather than how to find positive qualities. Often the fault they find is in their physical appearance, the words they chose to use or their writing. The “style” just isn’t right!
It is the nature of many people to differentiate with a negative eye rather than find what is positive or common ground between people. It’s so easy to make even a casual negative observation – others will see you as adding to the conversation. Piling on is fun!
The degree of negativity shown in today’s political climate is the point that has become the sticking fulcrum for the ultra-polarized environment between Trump forces and non-Trump forces. To many of my friends, on both sides of this argument, I encourage you to seek a more open and less-quickly-judgmental eye in observing as well as in characterizing others. In the spiritual world this is called showing compassion.
Compassion in the eyes of critical or judgmental people is too often seen as a sign of weakness. Showing compassion is said to be not only weak, but lacking the conviction to stand behind beliefs that are fundamental to a cause. But, compassion is having the ability to understand others and demonstrate empathy for alternate points of view. Yes, I may not be “for” your position in certain arguments, but I can certainly understand and appreciate the strength of your convictions. No one demands that we all agree along the same lines and with the same vigor on every issue.
Compassionate people will find opportunities to find common ground; they will seek words that communicate and give greater meaning to the arguments of others. Compassionate people still maintain convictions and principles, and still give voice to those who may lack power. Compassionate people have principles, but also permit moderation.
The weakest among us require a voice because they lack resources that give meaning to their words. And, it is the bully who seeks to deny the weak to be heard.
Having the loudest voice in the room is not a sign of the best position or truth or honor. Having the loudest voice in the room is needing to step back to give voice
to the meek and timid, because often the smallest voice speaks the greatest truths. As the GE commercial, “Not all great ideas start beautifully, they must be nurtured!”
What we learn, especially in a time of turmoil. Leaders capable of demonstrating compassion chose the optimum opportunities to teach and learn, and the best learning environment when a leader is in the position to “go for the kill.” It’s the time to be compassionate.
The greatest critics among us today demand that we be more aggressively powerful against the weakest among us. They clearly believe that the weak are responsible for their problems and must be held accountable and pay for losing conditions. From the sick, the poor, the old, the incompetent, they are not owed anything by the government, because they did not pay enough into the system.
These are easy claims to make and may be justifiable, in some cases. But, in the day of judgement, are we going to work from a two-column ledger and hold everyone accountable? Are we going to go back to those companies who were bailed out and expect them to reimburse taxpayers completely, as well as their employees and management? Does this even apply to smart businessmen who knew how to work the bankruptcy system in their favor? Do they have to be held accountable for their business failures?
Winners and leaders must show compassion in addressing difficult and contentious issues. If a rising tide raises all boats, if tax breaks for the wealthiest among us will benefit the poor, if deporting all illegal aliens will solve job issues for the unemployed, we can find a way to equally harm or assist every party. What didn’t work for King Solomon or George Washington won’t work for Donald Trump. Whoever is at the helm will have to work some new magic that I just don’t believe they have the ability to conjure in what we have seem to date.