Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Seeking to Understand
Recently I came into contact with a man who claimed to be an experienced school counselor. The reason I became aware of him was because of an incident where he showed extreme judgment in a situation with students at the high school level. As a licensed social worker, my professional opinion was sought out to address his behavior. Sadly, when he should have been, by professional standards and ethics, a pillar of non-judgment and tolerance, if not acceptance, he chose the path of being adamantly judgmental.
This got me to thinking about the many events in which we are involved every day when we have a blank stare on our face because we truly do not understand the actions of others. On a global level we see this in the actions of governments, political parties, organizations and groups. “I just don’t understand how anyone could…” is something most of us have uttered at some point in our lives.
We all want to be understood. I know I’ve been guilty of putting my mouth into motion before putting my brain into gear. The result has been a “runaway idea” that would have been left in the mental garage, parked safely out of everyone’s sight. What may have come out of my mouth was probably the truth (at least as I saw it at the time), but the delivery was far less than stellar.
“I just don’t understand…” only promotes less understanding. I believe that there is just one consciousness in the universe and that we are all, in our individual ways, included in that oneness. That’s quantum physics, so if you disagree please don’t blame it on religion or spirituality. Take your objections to the physicists and scientists who can debate it with you. Assuming there is a collective, universal and timeless consciousness (what some mystery schools refer to as the “Akashic Records”), then everything is known…somewhere.
From the human level I know have, and will in the future, come into contact with someone whose views are diametrically opposed to mine. I can choose to fight an offensive battle to prove myself right, or I can set aside my beliefs (and even my morals and ethics for the moment) to truly understand the other point of view. My mother taught me that if my beliefs cannot withstand the test of fire then perhaps they aren’t as concrete or reliable as I might think. It’s another amazing principle she taught me and by which I live my life on a daily basis.
Any professional counselor or minister doing his/her job must maintain a neutral and non-judgmental approach to helping others. It’s not a bad way for any of us to work through situations we encounter every day. Perhaps we can each take that method to heart the next time we are faced with beliefs, attitudes or actions for which we can find no explanation. If we seek to understand, rather than seeking to be understood, we just might learn something. At any rate, there should be a little less anxious or angry confusion in our lives. And, hopefully, a lot more peace of mind for all concerned.
In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,