Every now and then I think about the concept of being charitable and not just charitable in action which may mean lending a helping hand or donating things in kind but in words and in my emotions. Whenever I think that someone is not being open or is behaving in a rather weird manner, I often pause to ask myself whether my thoughts are charitable towards them. I wrote about this in more depth in my first newsletter about the Fundamental Attribution Error but this is a concept that I find myself getting back to every so often.
Maybe it’s because I so much believe that we are all children of this universe and we are all deserving of some kindness. This week I came across an interesting story of a town in Belgium called Geel. (Pronounced as hayle). Geel residents welcome mentally ill patients to their homes and live with them for years as guests or as they fondly refer to them as boarders. Unlike the common norm of isolating mentally ill patients in psychiatric wards and rehabilitation centres, Geel residents freely live with the patients and interact with them just like anyone else. Research shows that these patients though they take long too heal from their illnesses heal far much better than their counterparts locked away in facilities.
I think showing kindness, cutting some slack whether in the mild forms such as being charitable with thoughts or huge gestures such as taking in mentally ill patients such as Geel residents is what the world should be made up of.
Have a great week ahead!