The ability to see others as human beings like ourselves, with hopes, fears, and aspirations similar to ours—not as problems to be solved or as projects to be completed, but as people to be appreciated, without the need to fix them or solve their problems for them.
A willingness to suspend our judgments—our tendency to immediately assign fault or decide who is to blame in a situation—in order to listen with our whole being, so that the heart, the emotive core, is engaged and responsive, and we can reflect back to others both what we are feeling and what we sense they may be feeling.
The discipline of warmly and graciously inviting others into the space of our lives, while also setting appropriate limits—by honoring and respecting both our own boundaries and those of others, we create a secure and safe environment in which relationships of trust can grow over time.
A conscious decision about what and how much we want to share that leads to offering our gift freely and from a place of abundance, while avoiding the resentment that arises when we feel that we have been pressured into giving something more or other than what we had intended.
Recognizing and honoring the gifts that others have to share, affirming their unique skills and abilities, and allowing them to “shine” as competent, talented, and self-efficacious human beings who have something valuable to contribute to the greater good of the community.
Working with others rather than doing it for them, supporting their ability to make positive, healthy choices for themselves instead of making decisions for them, and being open to their desires and ambitions even though these may be different from our own.
When I was a kid, my parents would take my sister and me on backpacking trips through the Cascades. What I remember most clearly from those trips--along with fond memories of pl...