Seeing the Good in Others
At this time of year, we pause to take in the good. Last week, through the practice of Gratitude, we opened our awareness to all of the good in our lives, whether it was conceptual (health), an object (a crisp apple) or a being (our ever-loyal dog).
This week we tweak the practice by specifically acknowledging the goodness in others, and in ourselves. We look around us and recognize and acknowledge the special attributes that we admire and appreciate in our loved ones, our friends, people around us whom we may not know well and even in people with whom we struggle, and ourselves.
It’s not so much that we are acknowledging acts of kindness or attributes that benefit us directly. It’s that we’re simply taking stock of what we appreciate in others - characteristics, behaviors or traits that simply make the world more enjoyable in general. It may be the perseverance of the farm market workers who brave the freezing rain on autumn Saturday mornings, or the even attention of the flight attendant looks every single passenger in the eye on a packed holiday weekend flight, or the diligence of the math teacher who reads a book on experiential learning so she can engage her distracted senior year students more deeply in statistics.
The first few attempts at seeing the good in others might flow freely if we’re thinking of a dear friend, for example, but it might feel less natural or more superficial as we move on to others we don’t know as well. As we keep at it, though, the goodness in others begins to pop out as us, almost as if we’ve cracked a secret code and can now see what was hidden in plain sight in front of us. And with practice, we can see lovable attributes even in people who have, until this point, inspired negative reactions in us. In these instances, we don’t need to ignore the behaviors or traits that don’t sit well with us, but we can see each individual as a collection of many traits. To paraphrase Walt Whitman, “We contain multitudes”.
We hope you can join us as we recognize and appreciate the goodness that flows through others and ourselves this week.
May all beings everywhere feel the goodness that surrounds them,
Your friends at CMP
Community Sits This Week:
Monday 6:30 PM Ridgefield Library, 472 Main Street, Ridgefield
Monday 7:30 PM Sama Yoga 45 Grove Street New Canaan
Tuesday 1:00 PM Ferguson Library, 1 Public Library Plaza, Stamford*
Wednesday 12:00 PM New Canaan Library, 151 Main Street, New Canaan
* Made possible by a grant from Bankwell