To respectfully serve others, it goes without saying that we must first understand the context, culture, and perspective of those whose lives we wishes to impact. Without this appreciation, how can we truly claim to know what is in the best interests of another?
But to truly put ourselves in another’s shoes, we must be competent in using our internal tools of perception; otherwise, an attempt at understanding will result in misjudgment and error. Yet how can we know if we’re correctly using our intellect to appreciate others?
The utilities we need for this innate. In order to refine our ability to use them, though, they must first be honed on a subject whose thoughts and feelings we can access directly – our own. To do this, we must turn inward and recognize our own faults, biases, shortcomings, and fears. Only then can we understand the filter through which we see the world, and only then can we begin to see others in the correct light.
I wish I could say I did this well. I don’t. And most of us would say the same about ourselves. But with practice, and with time, perhaps that can change.