Every one of us is somehow trying to be a “better person” (or at least most of us are) and in the quest to better ourselves we often make certain affirmations – succinct messages that we repeat to ourselves to remind and encourage us. Every day our social media feeds are inundated with inspirational memes and affirmations, some are great, and some of them I honestly wonder whether people think about what is being said before they click “like.”
One of the affirmations that I do not wholeheartedly agree with is, “I will see only the good in people.” I agree that one should look for the good qualities in others, but I disagree about seeing ONLY the good, and here is why: if I am to see ONLY the good in people, it suggests to me that I should completely ignore the less than desirable qualities that may be present. If I ignore those qualities completely then am I not making myself vulnerable to them?
A favourite saying of mine is, “the hardest thing is to know.” Taken in the context of what I’m speaking of in this post, I am essentially saying that I need to be aware of what is both good and bad, and although I may choose not to dwell on the negative/bad aspects of the relevant person/situation, I am cognisant that those aspects do exist and I will operate accordingly.
I feel as though I should offer an example so here are two:
1. I have a co-worker Ben, he amazing at his job and interacts superbly with our clients, but he is dismissive of women in the workplace as he believes that their place is in the home. Using what I have outlined above: I am aware of Ben’s good qualities and as his colleague I periodically compliment him on them. I am also cognisant of his undesirable character traits, and though I choose not to dwell on them I operate accordingly by being cordial with Ben, but to avoid being angered and/or hurt I will not try to engage him in casual discussion and I certainly will not participate in any debate with him with regard to his beliefs.
2. I have a friend called Kate, she is funny and outgoing, loads of fun to be around. But she is self-absorbed and will not be the one to lend a listening ear or comfort someone else in their time of need. Again, using what I have outlined above: I am aware of Kate’s good qualities, and would tell her and others how awesome she is to hang with. I am also cognisant of her undesirable traits, and though I choose not to dwell on them I operate accordingly by never running to Kate when I need a shoulder to cry on. I will not hold a grudge about the fact that she is unable or unwilling to be there for me; surely if she needs a shoulder to cry on she can have mine, and she has. But I will not completely ignore this negative trait of hers while “only seeing the good” because I think that doing so may set me up for hurt feelings in the future.
I also want to add though, that too many people refuse to see the good that is in the people they don’t like. There is some good in every one of us and the person who can get along with everyone is the person who refuses to dwell on the bad and instead focuses on the good in others.
To summarise my thoughts:
– Acknowledge both the good and bad in everyone
– Decide to focus on the good
– Be aware of the bad, don’t make it your focus, but do use the information for the preservation of self.
I hope this provided some food for thought. I welcome your comments 🙂