“If I accept you as you are, I will make you worse; however if I treat you as though you are what you are capable of becoming, I help you become that.” ~ Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe …
How often do we treat others as though they are “what they are capable of becoming?” As humans, it is natural for us to want to be included and feel accepted and loved. It therefore follows that we are inclined to live up to the expectations of those we care about, even if only to receive the favor of them. And when those individuals expect very little from us, we effectively have little reason to give much. On the other hand, when much is expected of us, we have purpose to give much–to grow, to excel, to persevere.
It is incredibly important, as a parent, that I not expect anything less of my children than I know they are capable of becoming. That is why I make it a priority to teach them of the most valuable gifts in life–love, compassion, respect, faith, integrity, perseverance. For throughout the course of their journey in life, these things will prove to serve them best in their pursuit to become the person that they are meant to become.
Of course, it is important to recognize that we all will stumble and fall along the way–we will make mistakes, we will experience failures, and we will let others and ourselves down. But none of those have to define us or the person we are to become… that is up to each of us to define in the choices we make each day.
Treat others with respect and compassion and treat them as you wish to be treated. Above all, respect the potential they hold within for growth and change. They, too, are on a journey in life, and they have unique abilities and unlimited potential to change the world in ways we cannot even imagine. But they need us to hold them accountable for becoming the person they are meant to become, and to teach them the importance of never settling for anything less than their best version of who they are.
Help others to be the best version of themselves.
Questions to consider:
What are some ways you can help others reach their potential?
How often do you consciously consider the way that you treat other people?
How has your treatment of those you love affected them in a positive light? How has it affected you?
For further thought:
“If you believe in an unseen Christ, you will believe in the unseen Christlike potential of others.” ~ Anthony Burgess