“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better”. These wise words from Maya Angelou capture the very essence of self forgiveness, and then reconciliation with one’s values. In Chapter One of the Mandt System we say to “practice forgiveness”. This includes forgiveness of one’s self. We’ve all made mistakes, and it is imperative that we learn the relevant lessons, forgive ourselves, and work toward reconciliation.
Many years ago, I worked for an organization that used very restrictive skills in situations that could have been resolved in a more peaceful manner. The organization that I worked for did not have the tools that I would later learn from my first Mandt System training, and did not have a culture that led to the best outcomes. I eventually moved on to an organization with a much better developed culture of respectful conflict management. This is when I got my first exposure to the Mandt System, something that would become a formative experience in my own personal growth and development.
I learned a better way. To be perfectly honest, I sometimes think back on those times when I worked for the first organization and am a bit embarrassed. We should have known better. We thought we were helping people, when we were probably just making a difficult situation more difficult. I’ve had to practice a little self-forgiveness over the years since then. I’ve also made a reconciliation with my values. Now that I know better, I do better.
John Windsor – Mandt System Faculty