Clean Respect

I never meet a ragged boy in the street without feeling I may owe him a salute, for I know not what possibilities may be buttoned up under his coat.” – James A. Garfield

When you refrain from judging others you find that they come to you wearing the judgments they’ve accumulated over the years. Whether they’ve judged themselves or been judged by others is irrelevant, the fact that they’ve accepted the judgment is the issue. It’s an obstacle you’ll face in your dealings with them.

The challenge, of course, to those who relinquish judgment is to find the least intrusive and imposing way to help others to escape the tenacious and stupefying clutches of judgment.

This is easier said than done. Judgment, whether self-pronounced or passed on by another, can graft so subtly onto the identity of the accused that he can no longer tell which part of him is real and which manufactured.

To help free them you must employ a variety of strategies. First and foremost, you must accord them respect in a way that only those who have come free of judgment can. Clean respect cuts through the Gordian knot fastened by judgment.

Clean respect says to those within its field of influence “I believe in you more than you believe in yourself,” without saying as much. It is more an atmospheric influence than a phrase or a look, an intensifying firmament which is at once irresistible and unmovable. Those who yield to clean respect are drawn outward and upward, while those who reject it are repelled utterly and occasionally violently.

Photo by Kamran Ch on Unsplash

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