Seeing Things As The Person At Fault Does
by DW Green — September 16, 2020
Socrates, perhaps the wisest person to ever live, used to say that “nobody does wrong willingly.” Or as Deepak Chopra said “People are doing the best that they can from their level of consciousness.” Or “All I know is that my life is better when I assume that people are doing their best. It keeps me out of judgment and lets me focus on what is, and not what should or could be.” —Brené Brown. Or as Jesus said, praying from the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Meaning that no one is wrong on purpose either. Nobody thinks they’re wrong, even when they are. They think they’re right, they’re just mistaken. Otherwise, they wouldn’t think it anymore!
Could it be that the slights you’ve experienced or the harm that others have done to you was not inflicted intentionally? What if they simply thought they were doing the right thing—for them, even for you? It’s like the memorial for Confederate soldiers at Arlington (obviously a cause that was wrongly fought for by people doing wrong), which states in part, that the Confederate soldiers served “in simple obedience to duty, as they understood it.” Again—they understood wrongly, but it was their genuine understanding, just as Lincoln was genuine when he ended his famous Cooper Union speech by saying, “Let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.”
How much more tolerant and understanding would you be today if you could see the actions of other people as attempts to do the right thing. Whether you agree or not, how radically would this lens change your perspective on otherwise offensive or belligerent actions?
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