Perhaps it’s no surprise that our endless and often invisible self-judgement is quickly projected out into to the world and onto others.
We build family cultures and organisation cultures around our wish to find, and correct, the faults we find in everyone. And we can easily make the central project of our lives comparing people to standards and finding all the ways they (and we) fall short.
So how about a different project?
What if you were to see and show people the possibility inherent in them that they barely know themselves? Not platitudes, not untruths, not clichés, not making-them-feel-better. Instead, the difficult and important work of noticing and naming what is waiting to come into the world through them.
Who could you be if you dedicated yourself to finding the as yet unborn goodness in others – that which is struggling to free itself – and naming it for them so that it can take wing?
With thanks to both Parker Palmer and
Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg for the ideas that inspired this post.