How Do You See Yourself? Others? And the world?
The culture we live in or have lived in often shape how we think about ourselves and others. If we have grown up in a culture of negativity and nitpicking then we are likely to focus on the negative aspects of ourselves, others and the world. The consequences of this type of background are a lack of appreciation and a lack of gratitude for what had already been achieved. There is an inability to see the complete picture, which is a combination of the positive and negative aspects of a given situation.
A good artist is able to see both the positive and the negative space of an image in order to get it accurately on paper. Actually the skill of painting and drawing involves more seeing rather than doing. A painting goes wrong when an artist draws what he or she thinks he or she sees rather than what is actually there to be seen. The best way to see the person or object is to see the space that is not the object and the space that is the object. In this frame of mind the artist sees the shapes and lines much better and therefore can draw more accurately.
In the same way when you are looking at a particular aspect of your life, are you seeing the positive and the negative space? Are you seeing what is good and is not-so-good? When giving feed back to people, the best method is the sandwich method: that is, saying one positive thing that you saw in their work or performance, and then saying where they could do better, and then ending with another positive note. Then the sandwich is complete: a negative sandwiched between two positives. This gives the person a clearer, overall picture rather than focusing on just one aspect of the picture. Like the old method of developing film, a negative picture is not very clear; in fact it is ugly. Only when the negative is developed and inverted and colour is added does it become clear and beautiful.
So my question to you is this: How are you seeing yourself in the different areas of your life? Are you seeing only the negative? What is the cost of continuing down that pattern of thinking? Are you only seeing the positive? What is the cost of continuing down that pattern of thinking?
The great St. Vincent de Paul stated once:
“Humility is nothing but truth, and pride is nothing but lying.”
― St. Vincent de Paul
Humility isn’t just pushing yourself down, it is seeing what is the positive and what is the negative, the whole picture. Pride is focusing on the positive only, and pride is also focusing on the negative only, it is a lie because it isn’t the complete picture. What do you think about that?