"Radical Respect"The term "respect" usually connotes an attitude toward someone in a position of authority, or someone who is skilled in ways that are regarded as important (i.e., sports figures, or authors, or CEO's of respected companies). In the Gestalt approach, we view respect more fundamentally, as the right of every person to be seen and heard and to be validated as the unique being s/he is. Behaviors may be criticized or seen as inappropriate, even as hostile and violent; however, the core or essence of each unique person is believed to be potentially whole and capable of being self-supportive. Each person deserves "radical respect," as do other elements of our natural environment.
In keeping with this belief, then, no one can ever know what is best for another person; no one can know another person's basic processes, timing, availability, etc. We may have ideas or assumptions; however, we do not live in anyone's life but our own. As each aspect of the environment is encountered, the awareness of and "radical respect" for differences is basic. "I am I, and You are You," and we are in this life together.
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