“Understanding is love’s other name. If you don’t understand, you can’t love.” Nhat Hanh
Okay. It is August 24, 2018 and I just returned from nearly one month in Uganda, a place where I am the outsider looking in. And yet I was accepted and loved by so many people. The gratitude expressed for bringing clean water to a contaminated water site is extraordinary.
I find two words underscoring the core of my external behavior with a people radically different from those I know is the US—kindness and understanding. As a result I was accepted, respected and sometimes even surprisingly so.
Uganda is most definitely a foreign country in every way imaginable. Culture, dress, greetings, and common protocol, like how to shake hands, how to greet a stranger for the first time, and how to treat those in prestigious positions.
The Human Condition
But Uganda is NOT foreign when it comes to the real matters of the heart—kindness, love and understanding. I have found it to be common in every culture that I have experienced—be nice and you’ll make friends.
You don’t have to travel to make your life even better. Whenever you make an attempt to understand the deeper parts of other people you show them that you care and that you genuinely love them in a unique way. Understanding someone is giving another the kind of love they long for.
Nhat Hanh writes…
“When we can’t accept or tolerate others and their shortcomings, we demand that they change. But when our hearts expand… we accept others as they are, and then they have a chance to transform.”
Try a Little Understanding
When you attempt to understand another person’s difficulties or attitudes or even their short-comings you may be the only person they have encountered on any given day that has show them that kind of love.
So why not be different than most everyone else today? Take a moment to care about a friend or colleague or family member. Try a little understanding and watch how far it goes. You will be amazed.
Understanding and Kindness
The Only Love that Counts
Photo courtesy of Wavebreakmedia at istockphoto