Sunday, February 25, 2007

Be Kind to One Person

We've all heard the lament, "If I knew then what I know now!"

I was reminded of it the other day when a young man asked me what I wish I'd known years ago when just starting my career. Although many things came to mind, one item in particular stood out:

Don't be so hard on yourself.

Many of us are prepared to forgive the mistakes of others but are brutal when it comes to our own shortcomings. Sure, there are plenty of people who take just the opposite approach and yet in my own career, while uncaring clods have pushed through to the best seats in the house, the sensitive types are beating themselves up for having failed to hold the door for someone.

All virtues require balance. The desire to be right and kind is admirable. These self-reproaches, however, can paralyze a career and evaporate happiness. It is important to be caring, but it would help if we'd accord ourselves the same forgiveness and generosity that we give to others.


Rowan Manahan said...

Hear hear. The psychologist William James said, "The deepest human need is the need to be appreciated."

If you don't appreciate yourself ...

But Seriously Folks... said...

Thanks, really enjoyed the post. I made a post about your post here:


Michael Wade said...

Thanks to both of you. Anyone who cites William James and Carl Jung gets special points.