Monday, March 13, 2017

It is always personal

Here is something that I have learnt, and am learning, and hope to learn; not least as the parent of a child who has refused to go to school, on and off, for the past five years.

When our words, or actions, or deeply-held beliefs, cause another person pain, we never, ever get to say, “It isn't personal.”

No caveats. No exceptions.

I do not get to determine the impact of me on others. And they do not get to determine the impact of them on me.

To say “It isn't personal” is not only self-absorbed, it is abusive.

Instead, if we have any integrity at all, we get to acknowledge how deeply personal our impact on others is;

and to learn how we might make room for one another, on common ground, when we are unable to stand shoulder-to-shoulder in agreement;

and to discover how much (more) we can see, together, when we do not see eye-to-eye.

Which is lifelong hard work.

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