Monday, November 27, 2006

Between the Crevices

photo by E.F.D.J.

Remember, the mind likes to assume it "know what it knows" but often its perceptions are just not accurate. Yet strong judgments are made all the time based on limited information...When we judge someone and then adopt an attitude toward them, that shuts down other possibilities and locks us away from the insight of our hearts.”

Doc Childre and Howard Martin

I was reminded today, by a wise and practicing Buddhist, about the art of observing and seeing others with the heart, rather than knee jerking to assessments based in personal opinion.

As a social worker, there are very fine lines between our learned/practiced skills and our personal and professional intuitive skills. We are trained to be open and non-judgmental to all those we meet. We are also trained to assess people and their situations, with the goal of empowerment and healing. With our ingrained “assessor” hat always on, the process of receiving and interpreting information is so swift, we often miss how that process and conclusion actually occurs within us.

Time and experience in the field may develop our knowledge, but it can also unexpectedly prompt us to produce a slip-in judgment. While we may be trained to be free of judgment, we are also human, bringing our own fallible human experiences to our work. Certain behaviors cue our memories or intuition. If we can acknowledge, separate, and understand our assessment process, we can build on the opportunity to view a greater and deeper view.

The detail in the crevices can only be seen and understood with patience and tolerance to oneself and those we serve. It is the details that make each and every story unique and exquisite. It is only in the details, that we can learn new lessons.

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