Publication Date


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)

First Advisor

Claire Stanley


The ability to understand others is not a fortunate talent or an inherited trait. There is a recognizable process of understanding which can be taught, learned, or practiced at any moment of the day. A person's ability to understand others is directly related to his ability to see others truthfully. In turn, his ability to see others truthfully is in direct relation to his freedom from his own desires and perceived needs. Self-acceptance, which is self-love, is crucial in attaining freedom from our own perceived needs, and therefore central to the process of understanding.

During the summer of 1984, I led a group of eight people, comprised mostly of Swiss and German students on a journey across some of the United States. Our experiences were varied, including volunteer work in a soupkitchen for the homeless, a visit to Chicago's South Side, a conversation with a medicine man, and a pack trip on horses into a Wilderness Area in Montana. These experiences consistently presented evidence of the delicate balance between our own perceived needs and our ability to understand others.


Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Education | Educational Psychology | Other Education