The complexity of things - the things within things - just seems to be endless. I mean, nothing is easy, nothing is simple. - Alice Munro
Today, I asked someone the question, "How do you separate people from their actions and from the things they say or do?"
The reply I got was, "You can't."
Well, it wasn't that short of a response, but it was more like this:
"We have a natural tendency to put people in boxes, to say, 'he is this kind of person,' and be done with it. That makes it easy for us, because it gives us the security that people are predictable. But, when you take the position that people are amazingly complex, then things change. People become the amazing product of their life's experiences, both good and bad. And when you think of where people must have come from to be the people they are today, and you temper that with compassion, then you are able to think more easily about why people do or say things, instead of the things they do. That doesn't mean people's actions aren't right or wrong; some things people say or do are inappropriate. But it helps you to know what to do next."
So, you are amazingly complex. And, since I'm human, too, I guess I am as well. And I'm hoping that, by taking on this perspective, I can more easily understand the things that are said and done that are hurtful, and find ways to work through them to make life easier.
Easier said than done, but it's amazing what compassion can do.