Looking out the window I saw a Robin sitting on top of the bird feeder. That is odd, as Robins usually feed only on the ground. The Robin hopped to the feeder and I laughed to see its wings as I told him he needed to avoid hopping beneath paint ladders since his wings were splotched with white. My laughter made me realize the Robin was not a Robin. The Internet can be a wonderful tool for a curious one such as me. Using a web site I discovered my Robin was in fact, a Black-Headed Grosbeak. No easy task with my eyes. But I wanted to know, it was important enough to struggle to see. It made me smile to have a different bird. It made me smile to know his name.
And, as I do, it made me ponder how I look at people. Do I take the same time and energy to overcome to “know” their name, to know little things that reveal who they are? To see they are not just another Robin, to see what makes them unique? Carl Rogers, a humanist psychologist believed there were only three things required to help an individual psychology heal- genuineness, deep sincere empathy and the utmost regard or acceptance. If the counselor provided, was, and offered those three things to their client, the client would self-heal. Note-advice and direction are not one of the three. Imagine what the world would be like if, in our everyday lives, we approached others in the same way. What if I felt and acted upon the same curiosity and pleasure about discovering who another is as I did with the Robin turned Black-Headed Grosbeak? Ugh….what if I did the same with myself?
One of the most satisfying experiences I know is fully to appreciate an individual in the same way I appreciate a sunset. When I look at a sunset...I don't find myself saying, 'Soften the orange a little more on the right hand corner, and put a bit more purple along the base, and use a little more pink in the cloud color...' I don't try to control a sunset. I watch it with awe as it unfolds. – Carl Rogers