A For Effort

I’m not sure I get it. I’m not sure I understand where being right, performing better, and living above others outweigh expressing gratitude, appreciating effort, and extending compassion. What is so righteous about being “hardened?” About being “tough?”

I understand valuing honesty. I understand holding people accountable. But when you isolate those values, you view life through a limited lens. Furthermore, you miss seeing and appreciating other aspects of the human experience. When you live life through such a limited lens, you set an expectation for others to think like you. And that lens becomes perfection from your standpoint.

He without sin, cast the first stone.” – Jesus

This way of living and thinking, that your logic and decisions are superior to others, comes at a great cost. You miss seeing the intension behind another person’s effort. You miss seeing their heart.

But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.” – Thomas Merton

I understand there might be fear that extending compassion and gratitude means you dismiss the person’s mistake. That you make excuses for the other person. That you suppress your own thoughts. That if you don’t say anything, they will “never learn.” Gratitude and compassion are not exclusive actions. Gratitude and compassion recognize that a person is more than a decision. They are more than a mistake. And, they are more than what you know about them.

Read that last sentence again.

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