Continued from previous page.

When it comes to this, it does not matter if you or I are in a religion or out of one. It does not matter what we believe or where our feet are resting on Sunday morning.

What matters is whether or not we can learn to see people. Period. End of sentence.

People.

To do that may be the hardest thing any of us will ever learn to do.

To see people. No adjectives attached.

It is the hardest thing most of us will do because we all know that other people aren’t exactly returning the favor. Other people are looking for the unpleasant adjectives that accompany our very existence. Other people are looking for the fault. And the sin. And the ways in which they can feel that they are somehow better than we are.

But do you remember the very real words they are screaming when they do?

We are all crying, “I am a good person. And I deserve to be loved.”

I promise you, if you listen close enough, it is true.

We are all crying it.

Sometimes we cry it to the people standing in front of us.

And sometimes we unintentionally hurt the people standing in front of us by crying out to them against those who have taken away our voices elsewhere. We cry out against those who have wounded us or judged us in the past.

We remember the hurt of those who loved us yesterday, and so our reaction is to hurt those who love us today.

I promise you, if you listen close enough, it is true.

We all have our reasons for crying it.

And we all do it.

So what if…

What if the only way to ever have our own cries be heard is to be the first to look at the person standing across from us and initially see only that person and nothing else?

What if the only way to ever be heard ourselves is to be the first person to shut up and be quiet so that every person’s desperate voice can finally be decoded?

What if the only way to be heard ourselves is to, at least for a brief moment, let go of this need we have to be better than others?

And instead of looking for all the other people in this world to tell us that we are good people and that we are loved, what if we must first be the ones to give that validation to those who surround us?

What if any time another person judged us, or talked down to us, or belittled us, we didn’t get offended or resistant or reactive, and instead we mentally replaced what was being said to us with the simple phrase, “I am a good person. And I deserve to be loved.”

What if that was all we were able to hear when others were treating us poorly?

If we could achieve that, we would effectively replace what we thought was being said with what was actually being said and that would have beautiful and important consequences because that is what we would respond to. We suddenly would understand the real need that every person in this world has. We would understand that every person needs to feel it, every person needs to hear it, and every person needs to believe it…

“I am a good person. And I deserve to be loved.”

As it turns out, our need isn’t really to be better than anybody at all. Our need is to have others believe that we are good people. Our need is to have others love us.

And once we understand the need in others, we can fulfill the need in others.

What if any time another person judged us, or talked down to us, or belittled us, we simply replied, “You are a good person. And I love you.”

Shhh…

Did you hear that? Did you hear their response?

Of course you didn’t.

There was no response.

The very retorts that we all have developed over a lifetime of trying to meet this need suddenly make no sense once our actual need has been met.

And so, silence occurs.

And during that silence, imagine the power in repeating those nine words again.

“You are a good person. And I love you.”

The walls come down.

“You are a good person. And I love you.”

The intolerance fades.

“You are a good person. And I love you.”

The hate evaporates.

And all that is left is two people. Nothing more.

Did you catch that?

When we fulfill the need in others, we ourselves become a person in the process. The adjectives disappear.

On both sides of the room.

And suddenly this other incredible, beautiful person standing across from us is free to tell us something that we have also been longing for so long to hear…

“You are a good person. And I love you, too.”

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing

Thank you for reading this post today. Thank you for discussing it. It’s one that is so significant to me. If it is to you as well, please share it. If it touched you at all, please share it.

And please comment today. Do you have trouble seeing people without seeing everything else first? Do you agree with my assessment of why we do it? Do you ever feel judged or chastised or hurt by other people? If so, are you willing to try using these nine words (in your own words, of course)?

NOTE: Please use the like button above which will send people to page one instead of to the last page. :)

And if you haven’t read it yet, please read I’m Christian, unless you’re gay and The Disease Called “Perfection”.

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Dan Pearce is an American-born author, app developer, photographer, and artist. This blog, Single Dad Laughing, is what he's most known for, with more than 2 million daily subscribers as of 2017. Pearce writes mostly humorous and introspective works, as well as his musings which span from fatherhood, to dating, to life, to the people and dynamics of society. Single Dad Laughing is much more than a blog. It's an incredible community of people just being real and awesome together!