Important Traits No Matter What Age

After a heated discussion with a friend about placing “value” on people (which I think is impossible to do), it made me think about what I believe are important traits to have to be a good member of a society – no matter what we are capable of. This is what I came up with:

Tolerance is necessary because it keeps us open to new things. If we automatically assume that we know better than another person, we block off learning and improving our own way of living and being happy. It’s also important to be tolerant with the communication barriers that are present amongst all people. There is no way that we can learn everything or effectively communicate a thought or idea with people that are drastically different than us, so passing judgment on something before a good level of understanding of each other is worthless. Tolerance is also a way to relieve the stresses that come with dealing with things we can’t understand, which is a constant in life.

Respect – for others and for ourselves – is very important. Assuming that “I” am better than “you” creates the illusion of value. While some things can be measurable (for instance, your way of growing tomatoes yields 30% more tomatoes than my way), others cannot (for instance, this tree is prettier than that tree – that’s just preference). Often, digging below the surface opens us up to new things we never thought possible, and in order to see these things, a certain respect must be had.

Forgiveness is probably one of the hardest things to accomplish because it’s just difficult, and often, people don’t realize how important it is. Forgiveness allows us to move forward, and the grudges we hold, no matter how small, are what create little roadblocks in our day-to-day life. Sometimes, as a way of dealing with troublesome problems, our mind forgets painful memories. By addressing these problems, which often stem from our childhood when we didn’t know how to deal with issues (because we didn’t have much control over anything then), we can figure out what exactly is troubling us. Forgiving people we used to know that hurt us or mistakes that we made helps us tackle new problems we come across every day. It’s also important to know that forgiving someone doesn’t require him or her to change. And when we forgive ourselves, change for the better will happen naturally.

“The distance between anything is always equal to our ability to see the path and knowing the way through.”

This blog was posted by Kate Valdovinos.

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