Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Dissertation on shame. Chapter 27.3 Pratical wisdom

27.3 Practical wisdom

Linda argues that she is capable of helping others because of her life experience. Nothing that anyone can tell her seems to be new, which in my opinion can be understood as relating to practical wisdom. Linda has learned to take her past experiences with her in her genuine meeting with others so as to better be able to find the user where one is in the moment. Aristotle argues in Nicomachean Ethics, Book IV that practical wisdom is about collecting experience over time and building up a capability to act in specific human situations. When people tell Linda about their pain and suffering, she can relate to them by using her own past experience of the same kind of pain. Having learned to cope with her own suffering has prepared her for her work helping others.

Linda_1:         How do I help people? It has to do with umm that all this is familiar to me already. There’s nothing here that’s new for me. It probably has to do with that. When they say that they hurt then I know what that pain is. It’s a pain I’ve also felt. When you’ve learned to cope with your own pain, then you’re prepared to handle the pain of others.

Linda gives here in my opinion an indication of the secret which lies in the art of helping; this knowledge is practical and can not be learned through reading books. She has helped thousands of sexually abused children, men and women over many years by knowing herself and using her past experience in order to prepare her to handle the pain and suffering of others.

Each and every person stands in an objective relation to other people (I-It relationships). This is what makes it possible to exist in the world. It is this that enables a person to open his/her personal sphere to the rest of the world. An objective relationship between two human beings can develop into a personal relationship (I-Thou relationships) through the existential participation by both parties. This opens a number of possibilities: it opens for both acceptance and damnation. Exploitation of the integrity of others creates wounds in human relationships. It is up to the person who has been offended to heal the wound. Others can assist but the helping process must in my opinion come from inside of the person which has been offended. The social worker who senses the existence of shame or guilt and who has the task of helping others can help individuals so that wounds eventually heal. When one knows that someone is suffering from shame or guilt, it is not possible to show that person the correct path to take in the world. Each person must find ones own personal route to healing. It is possible, however, to help another person come to the point where one is able to find one’s own way or at least a point of departure on the road to healing the wound. A starting point is to have the self-knowledge necessary to find the other where s/he is at the moment so that the healing process can start there.

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