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It has been 16 years since the terrorist attacks. If you are an American old enough to remember, you will have a clear memory of what happened on that day. As an individual, you will perceive it differently from anyone else since perception is based on how an event impacts you personally. Perception is based on your senses and how your memory takes in all the things that are going on at the time. No two people will recall a thing of the past in the same way. Of course, I am using today and the anniversary of 9-11 to understand how humans treat themselves and others based on perceptions.

It is important to understand that we all have different perceptions that are distorted through the filters we use to make up meaning based on our inner thoughts and feelings. Please do not underestimate the importance of these distortions. Things get changed, garbled, twisted, altered, misrepresented, falsified and so on in the retelling of them. We are all telling a “story” of our life based on our own perceptions. How humans treat each other and themselves cannot be improved until we consider all the ways our perceptions are influenced.

The way we treat self and others is most often based on our observations that are filled with judgment. We decide things based on filters that judge how we “think” about others that is mostly based on their behavior. Behavior is NOT who a person is and it is not reflective of how they need to be treated. If we were only treated according to our actions or what our behavior indicated, it would be an even more insane world than it already is in so many regards. You may be wondering where I am going with this perception issue and rightly so. It is confusing to know how to KNOW a person apart from their behavior. The problem is that we don’t know what we don’t know about others. Their surface behavior is most likely a mask and only part of their identity.

Human treatment must begin to be thought of more deeply. We are compassionate at our best self. In other words, compassion or empathy for others is a good filter to use at all times. When we dig deeper, we know we want to be treated with kindness and consideration. Actually, when we do that for ourselves first, we are more likely to give it to others. Beginning with a kind heart to self and others is the first and best human-to-human treatment. From there, we need guidance, however. Many people are good and kind to others only to get “burned” by them. Most people worry that if they are TOO kind and generous, people will take advantage of them.

How can we treat ourselves and others with affection and concern without fear or worry of feeling sorry for everything and everyone and giving in to “their” feelings? This is a great question and has only one answer. WE need help to stay in balance and know what is needed. Treating others well is not a matter of feeling sorry for them. It is knowing how to best help them. Only God knows what each individual or any given situation needs. WE must treat ourselves to knowing God first and then, using His mind and heart to master ours. This is the BEST human treatment of all!

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