Just under a month ago I was looking through a book called ‘Strengths Finder 2.0’ by Tom Rath. This is a book that gives someone the chance to find what their hidden talents are and to go over the ones they are already aware of.
So, when I opened the book and looked at the contents page, I saw that a number of different strengths had been listed. The first one that stood out was ‘Individualisation’ and the second one was ‘Empathy’.
In all these strengths, there was the effect it had on them and then there was how it affected how they treated others. When it came to first strength that stood out, it said that someone with this strength generally sees people as individuals.
Though being this way, it stops them from allowing the colour of another person’s skin, their gender or nationality from defining how they see them. This means that they are not going to have the tendency to put people in a box.
A Vital Ability
A number of other things were said in this description, but this was the part that stood out for me. I could relate to a lot of what was said and I thought about how important it was to see people as individuals.
The alternative is to put people into a box, with the box they go into being defined by their gender, skin colour or nationality, amongst other things. Along with this, it is equally as important for someone to think for themselves and not to blindly accept what other people believe.
After I finished reading this chapter, I started to think about how the political realm is full of people who are unable to see others as individuals. There also appears to be plenty of people who go to university (or who have been) who are the same.
This is usually what happens when someone has learnt about identity politics, with this being something that causes them to put everyone into a box; someone is then gong to be oppressed or they are going to oppress others. Clearly, this makes it impossible for them to see another person as an individual.
The Other Side
And, if they are unable to see people as individuals, it means that they are not engaging their mind. Instead, they are just projecting their inner reality onto these people, and this is going to stop them from being able to truly connect to them.
Now, it takes far more energy to see people as individuals and to connect to them in this way, but this approach is more humane. Putting people into boxes is not going to create more peace and harmony on this planet, that’s for sure.
The chapter on empathy went into now someone with this strength can put themselves into another person’s shoes and to put their experience into words. Being this way is going to make it easier for someone to have fulfilling relationships and it will be harder for them to cause harm.
If you would like to find out about what your strengths are or to reacquaint yourself with the ones you know you already have, you may enjoy going though this book. Reading parts of this book certainly had a positive effect on me.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.