In life, we meet various people. Some become our friends, some become lovers or life partners. But do we truly understand people who have history to which we cannot relate?
Often we subject people to our half-knowledge, or partial understanding. This is a huge disservice. We need to love enough to learn more. Then, and only then, can we truly understand others. This is the dignity they deserve.
If we are trained as a paramedic or nurse, we tend to expect patients to fall into certain categories. The thing is, people are unique and may have a rare underlying condition that confounds the medical understanding.
So it is if we apply our understanding to others. We only partially understand. Therefore, we are not loving. Our love must expand to explore the other. Listening actively, not asking closed questions, watching closely. All these deepen our understanding.
In my profession, I observe a lot. I think I have always been an observer anyway. Observing informs a lot, but open questions, patience, and a desire to learn are key to loving people better, more fully.
Love bears all things, love is patient, kind,…the greatest of these is love
If we do not have love for others, we are empty. Yes, empty. Look at a baby. It thrives because it is loved and so it loves back. A baby that is never touched will die. Even if it is fed. We need love in order to live.
Those of us who are mothers know our children inside out. It is just that way. There are interferences that can damage this.
We cannot love our children through manuals. We love them by instinct and passed down wisdom. They display their personality as they grow and have the ability to decide and choose.
If we are an addict, we do not understand all addicts. Only the cycle of addiction. If we are artists we do not understand all artists.
So it is with the human condition. We are all human, but we fail to understand each other. It takes love to desire to fully understand.
We have a habit of confusing our half knowledge and partial understanding with actuality. We mistake what we know for the thing itself, or the subject, topic, person.
Our blinding preconceptions limit us to remaining half knowing, half understanding.
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing
So, to be better humans, better friends, lovers, life partners, professionals, we need to expand our love, our compassion, so that we don’t do disservice to others.
Published in Contemplate