Saturday, September 1, 2012

The < = > Approach

A couple of weeks ago, our pastor discussed as concept he had learned about from another member of the church: the < = > concept.  Or, the greater than, equals and less than concept.

What does this mean?  In his discussion, it was suggested that as humans we immediately apply the < = > equation to everyone we meet.  Is this person less than, equal to, or greater than me?  Then, based on that assessment is how we choose to relate to them.

If they are less, then we may treat them as less than we are.  Either by being patronizing or rejecting them.  Perhaps someone who is younger or in a lesser station of employment.
If they are greater, then we might have more respect or be more inclined to want to gain their favor.  Think of a boss, or a pastor, or, for some,  a celebrity. 

If they are equal, then…  Well, that’s a tough one.  Are these the people we are friends with or the ones that we choose to compete with?
It’s food for thought.  I had to acknowledge that while it’s not necessarily a conscious thing, I do believe that we do this. 

Now that it has been brought to my attention, I’m much more cognizant of initial meetings and “sizing people up”.  I don’t want to rank people – I want to accept them as they are.  One thing teaching has taught me is that I may be in front of the classroom, but, given a different subject, that position could easily be reversed, and I'm the student. 
Do you judge people the first time you meet them?  How hard is it for them to break out of the mold you put them in? 

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