It made me think of how we’re taught to deliver bad news to others; only after the good news.You let the child know you will go to the park with them tomorrow, but you can’t go today. When you grade papers, you highlight the exceptional things in it before you mention the problems resulting in the poor grade. You agree with the angry customer about the faulty purchase, before you confirm you can’t reimburse, only replace. We believe that perhaps the bad news will sit better if it can rest in an affirming place.
Affirmation, in my mind, belongs in first place. We should be able to affirm ourselves, and also affirm others. And that order is important. It’s often hard to be affirming of others if we are a shadow or a ghost of our self. Only a whole and healthy self is likely to give others a sense of wholeness and health.
That kind of aggressive, blaming behavior is becoming all too common, in Congress and across our country. It’s ultimate expression is shooting a young boy at your door before he has a chance to discover he’s at the wrong house; or killing a young woman mistakenly in your driveway; or killing a neighbor for a loud leaf blower; or shooting up a school or place of work that has shamed or hurt you.