Something that I’ve been thinking about lately is the idea of unconditional positive regard. More specifically, I’ve been wondering why the concept of unconditional positive regard isn’t naturally embedded in our minds and in society.
My personal definition of “unconditional positive regard” is being respectful, kind, and appreciative of everyone around you, no matter what. Maybe they have crossed you, been mean to you, have behaved like an idiot recently, or are just hard to like, but you can’t let those conditions stop you from demonstrating warmth and happiness towards them.
Type “unconditional positive regard” into Google and this comes up: “Practicing unconditional positive regard means accepting and respecting others as they are without judgment or evaluation.”
So that’s what we’re talking about.
I think it’s really unfortunate that I have to merely imagine what life would be like if everyone demonstrated unconditional positive regard. Just today, I heard multiple folks refer to other people using words like “stupid” and “retarded.”
I know why we are judgmental– we’re all human beings, imperfect. But I don’t know why disrespect is so rampant. We don’t just judge, we belittle and discriminate. We hate other people.
And it doesn’t make any sense. Yes, I’ve acknowledged that we are imperfect, but that excuse only goes so far. We are just so damn hateful to each other. That “Why can’t we be friends” song is playing in my head over and over right now. I think that’s the right question to be asking… because once you ask, “Why aren’t we friends?” you’ll realize there’s no rational reason to exclude friendship with anyone.
Someone may have hurt you, may hold a belief that you disagree with, but there is no authentic reason to discount a person’s value as a human being. When we ally with one another, support each other, the entire world becomes a better place.
Our human mind makes it easy and natural to judge people, but we can just as easily forgive and accept others. All we have to do is remember that we have the power to offer forgiveness and acceptance. You hold yourself back when you allow yourself to give into the primitive instinct to hate.
There’s just no need to ignore, avoid, be awkward around, or talk badly about, anyone!
It was just really bothering me today after I heard people throw around words like “stupid” and “retarded” to describe someone else. People who use their words and actions like that make the world a little bit harder to live in. But I still accept them… because I try to have unconditional positive regard! Peoples’ weaknesses and failures don’t mean they don’t have strengths or anything to contribute to the world.
Even if a person’s value is hard to see, it’s always there, and the depth of their value is infinite.
By the way, you’re amazing! I love you so much.