The fundamental building block of interpersonal relationships is the acknowledgement of others’ humanity or personhood. Obvious as this may seem, denial of this fundamental precept – or the absence of this fundamental understanding, as the case may be – has led to the severe denigrations of personhood seen in genocide and slavery.
As we proceed through the levels of development, we will see a progression. In interpersonal relationships, we begin at level one by acknowledging others’ humanity. Understanding the other characterizes level two. Appreciation for the other, representing and enhanced understanding that is informed by the intellect and buttressed by an emotional understanding (empathy, compassion, etc.), characterizes level three. Wisdom characterizes level four: it refers to a quality of understanding that surpasses the norm. As we proceed through the stages, typically, the other domains of being are incorporated into the value (e.g., empathy enhancing understanding in level three of interpersonal relations).Be the first to comment