…perhaps with a friend, a spouse, or even your child?
In the words of Max Bygraves, “I wanna tell you a story”. Years ago, in the early eighties, long before the world wide web, I used to run a Wildcat! BBS (Bulletin Board) where people would phone into my computer, upload and download files, and then work off-line. They would have access to a files area where they could swap free software, and to forums where they could hold conversations with each other. It was very successful and there used to be a thousand messages a week. And this was with just one phone line.
I put the following extract up on the BBS and within days had three messages from three different people, each saying the same thing: “If I had read this earlier I wouldn’t now be divorced”.
Taken from the first page in Chapter 1, of the book “Please understand me”*** by authors David Keirsey and Marilyn Bates. The book’s sub-title is ‘Character & temperament types’ Publisher: Gnosology Book Inc ISBN0-9606954-0-0, and distributed by Prometheus Nemesis Book Company of Del Mar, California,
If I do not want what you want, try not to tell me that my want is wrong.
Or if I believe other than you, at least pause before you correct my view.
Or if my emotion is less than yours, or more, given the same circumstances, try not to ask me to feel more strongly, or weakly.
Or yet if I act, or fail to act, in a manner of your design for action, let me be. I do not, for the moment at least, ask you to understand me.
That will come only when you are willing to give up changing me into a copy of you.
I may be your spouse, your parent, your offspring, your friend, or your colleague. If you will allow me any of my own wants, or emotions, or beliefs, or actions, then you open yourself, so that some day these ways of mine might not seem so wrong, and might finally appear to you as right … for me.
To put up with me is the first step to understanding me. Not that you embrace my ways as right for you, but that you are no longer irritated or disappointed with me for my seeming waywardness. And in understanding me you might come to prize my differences from you, and, far from seeking to change me, preserve and even nurture those differences.
Can you, dear reader, think of any family, friends or colleagues who could benefit from this? If you can, do the decent thing, and send them a link to my blog rather than cutting and pasting this to them. I certainly want to reach more people and they may benefit from other “stories” I tell on my blog. In return, have my total thanks. 🙂
*** I purchased my copy of the book in 1984 and can honestly say, it changed my life.