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This one is a little more difficult to explain and I am still working it through it myself.
The Bible also states that 'when a man is honest he will receive love and kindness' (Psalm 112).
The wicked will not like the honest and will hate and try to destroy them.
Similarly if we offer too much to people in our lives and then don’t follow through on that, they are left confused and hurt.
If we keep trying to give what we have offered (in terms of time, emotion, or commitment) even when we don’t really have it, people generally pick up on this, or we end up so resentful that we pull away from them completely.
Then, instead of moments of conflict making us feel disconnected, isolated and alienated, they actually have the potential to connect us more fundamentally, as we recognise the familiar fears and dreads, hopes and desires, that drives the very behaviours that we are finding so difficult.
But we need at least a little kindness to cut through the sense that we are up against a bad, blameworthy, inexplicable individual who is just getting in our way.In a conflict we might lie about what we find difficult about somebody in order to save them pain.These are all examples of kindness without honesty, and they all frequently backfire.Kindness encourages us to ask ‘what might be going on for this person that they are behaving like this?’, starting from the assumption that it makes sense rather than seeing them just from the self-centred point of view of our own desires and how they are blocking these.Kindness to ourselves enables us to look honestly at what we bring to the situation, without being overwhelmed by guilt and shame when we realise that we are also being imperfect people and contributing to conflict, confusion and pain.Finally, kindness opens us up to other aspects of the person – particularly the ones that are impressive – when our attention is in danger of being fixed on ‘negative aspects’.Finally, if we are never honest about our experience of other people because we want to save their feelings, we prevent them from learning things that may help them in the long term.Or perhaps we ensure that – when somebody does tell them – it is in a less supportive and helpful way which may be too painful for them to be able to hear.So, for example, we might take on more work than we can comfortably manage in order to help others, claiming that we’re fine.We might say that we feel more for somebody than we actually do in order to make them feel good.