“Is it hard?’
Not if you have the right attitudes. Its having the right attitudes thats hard.”
― Robert M. Pirsig
Whenever I see, much less use, a phrase like ‘the right attitude’ or the right anything else for that matter, I find myself pausing. Right for who and in what situation. Surely what is right for me may not be right for someone else. Is there such a thing as objective right?
Well I have yet to find an answer where love and compassion were not the right attitude to have. Of course I’m using loaded terms here. By love I do not necessarily mean that new age soporific kind of love. Sometimes the most loving thing you can do to someone (for example someone who is about to harm others purposefully) maybe to injure them severely. Also when I say compassion, I definitely DO NOT mean sympathy. Sympathy is when you feel sorry for someone and want to give them what they want out of pity. Compassion involves awareness of who people are beyond what they show on the surface. When we feel compassion for someone, we tend to give them what they need, which is something quite different than what they want.
What other attitudes may be considered right? A key one for me is the realization that my answers are not complete and that there is always a new viewpoint to consider and integrate.
No matter how much I believe I know, any of it or all of it may be wrong. I’ve been wrong before and will be again and that’s ok as long as I don’t get so positional that I am unwilling to consider a new point of view. I love exposure to new ideas and viewpoints and when I come across one its like my birthday and christmas rolled into one.
I don’t have the arrogance to assume that love, compassion, an open mind and willingness to change are the right answers for everyone but they do tend to be the largest tools in my arsenal.
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