Valuing others’ perceptions
Appreciating much diversity
These are qualities
Of those who’ve endured adversity.
I’ve noticed that those who have been made better by the adversities they’ve endured tend to be most accepting regarding others’ differences. They can honour the perceptions of others even if they disagree with them.
And I’ve noticed the reverse is also true.
Those who are naturally more open-minded and soft-hearted regarding others are usually those who choose the ‘better’ option of dealing with grief than the ‘bitter’ option. They seem predisposed that way.
It seems to fit, then, that these are all relational schemas.
Relational schemas are ideas of life, truths if you like, that find themselves linked, one to another. They are related. And they are related with people.
When we inherently value others’ perceptions we can apply the same open-mindedness and soft-heartedness to ourselves and appreciate, in the ultimate sense, that though there may be a struggle initially, many horrible mysteries that don’t have answers – those that can only be endured the best we know how at the time.
Those who get better somehow know that resentment is a dead-end, and the constant default is exploration to find a solution, even though they somehow accept there is no finalizing solution.
There is value in appreciating many things we don’t understand. We don’t need to understand everything to accept them. We just look at things and hold an option open in our minds: we wonder and don’t decide. We don’t judge.
Adversity is a thing we are all susceptible to. Our responses are, however, what split us apart. As a key predictor of assimilating the given adversity into the psyche, those that value others’ perceptions – demonstrating their relational competence – can enroll a better overall response.
There is great value, therefore, in valuing the perceptions of others. It means we appreciate the relational ‘push-pull’ nature of life that always has a cause-and-effect nature about it.
Where we show a silent contempt, or worse, a venerable disdain, for others’ perceptions we close ourselves off to the very thing that could help us: self-understanding and the experience of God’s grace as we, ourselves, receive it. Or, if there is no negative experience for having not valued someone else’s perception there is no conscience within which the Holy Spirit can operate.
Valuing others’ perceptions brings joy to them and blessing to us; it’s an attribute of the peacemaker. It is no coincidence that the blessing realized for valuing another is experienced personally, in that, we experience the same acceptance and love: the acceptance and love of God.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.