It seems I can go on and on about friendship andfriends and it’s not because I’m an authority on the subject. I guess it’s because the dynamics of relationships have always fascinated me.
Recently, someone asked me this question: “I was wondering how acceptance challenges a friend to improve…won’t that make him more comfortable with the way he is?”
I’m going to answer this question with an extract from another one of my precious books I ‘found’. This one is a little gem called ‘The Friendship Factor’ by Alan Loy McGinnis:
‘People have a way of becoming what you encourage them to be, not what you nag them to be’, someone said. When all is said and done, a large part of our success at love will depend on our ability to accept human nature as it is. The judgemental temperament never generates much affection. To put it another way, we need to strive for as much understanding of others as we grant ourselves. The Sioux Indians had this rule: ‘I will not judge my brother until I have walked two weeks in his moccasins.’ The experts at love are always trying to put themselves in the place of their loved ones. In short, they possess tolerance.
Beethoven said, “We all make mistakes, but everyone makes different mistakes,” and Goethe said, “One only has to grow older to become more tolerant. I see no fault that I might not have committed myself.” Samuel Johnson puts the cap on the subject, “God himself, Sir, does not propose to judge a man until his life is over. Why should you and I?”
Do not think for a moment I am urging you to become a non assertive blob who agrees with everyone and never expresses an opinion. No – be opinionated! Express your individuality as loudly as you need to. But be sure to give your friend the same privilege. Assertiveness is okay, so long as it is non-possessive, non-interfering and non-demanding.