“If you treat an individual as he is, he will remain how he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.”
I love Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. I read his quote years ago when I was a SATP counselor with inmates in the Texas prison system. I had the best staff that I worked with. Our senior counselor was a wonderful man, and he helped thousands of inmates to learn how to live “One Day at a Time” . Me and the other counselors there learned to love the guys, and we learned that they were just “wounded” boys and were “acting out” their pain and anger. We treated them “like they could be~instead of what they were”~like Goethe’s quote.
I know without a doubt, that if we treated them like they were evil, bad, or worthless, it would not help them; and it would only serve to keep them sick and angry. It also would not help society any either, because it would serve to keep the guys in the “vicious cycle” of anger, hate, lying, and blaming. It would reinforce the “revolving door“, and it would help empty the prisons; of course that is not what the investors who have built the prisons would want. It serves them for the guys to stay sick and keep coming back to the prisons, that they own. They are getting rich off other people’s suffering.
So, my opinion is if more people would “treat them as they could be”, and they received treatment and counseling more of them could recover and lower the recidivism rate.
- How Goethe can change your life – 3 lessons for 2013 (romankrznaric.com)
- Bite-Sized Wisdom: Von Goethe (thoughtsontheatre.wordpress.com)
- Goethe’s Color Theory (fractaldesignbydee.wordpress.com)