“If you can’t sit across from someone and say to yourself in all honesty, ‘I have perfect positive regard for you.’ – you’re never going to do that person any good. Just walk away.”
He left home at a young age to work on a fishing boat in California with our uncle. Later, he went to Vietnam with what was then a little known government group called the NSA. He exhausted his GI bill on every ounce of education he could get and remains a life long learner. As life passed he became a seasoned sea captain able to sail ships of all sizes and shapes. Then he met a redheaded wonder who he could not walk away from and they married late in life, turning Mike into a land bound counselor of some of the toughest young kids in the Bronx.
As life’s poetry would have it he is precisely where he is needed. The kids he counsels are tough people who are sometimes tough to love. The secret Mike shares is that they don’t need to be placated with nice gestures and professionalism. They each need to be seen as a person who counts for something.
It probably is not fully possible to absolutely always have perfect positive regard for every single person whom you encounter, but I propose to you that the more you try the more you find high regard.
Being in caregiving means that we move into people’s lives at a speedy pace while just the opposite is true for our patients – everything is in slow motion.
Tell someone that you hold them in high regard and see what happens. Find out why it is true for you to say, “I hold you in perfect positive regard.”