Does Acceptance Mean Approval?

Have a good lecture topic you wish Hari to speak about? Put it here! Have feedback on previous lectures? Post it here! Have specific questions on a specific lecture that you want to know more about? Ask it here or put it in Discussions with Hari.
Post Reply
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:28 pm

Does Acceptance Mean Approval?

Post by aradhya »

Dear Hari, please accept my respect. I thought there's no question of acceptance without approvement: if we don't find a reason (or at least don't use the ,,sweet lemon,, rationalization) to approve something we can't change, then we are to make plots against what we supposedly accepted. In other words, if acceptance means only that we merely consider something as truth, without ethic considerations, sooner or later, when we involve our personnality to the issue, we will have to judge and decide if we like it (then we normaly approve it), or don't like it (then we try to improve it, or pray for courage to do so). Did I missed some point in your lecture, so have to put a ,,how can we,, queston? Thankfuly Your's
User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 627
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 1:35 am

Re: Does Acceptance Mean Approval?

Post by Hari »

In my opinion, accepting something is very different from approving something. If I accept you as you are, it does not mean that I think you are perfect as you are and I approve you and all that you do. It simply means that I accept you for what you are without demanding you to be anything else. Let us say you have a quality that I do not like. You might be someone who speaks harshly to others (this is a hypothetical example to make a point.) I do not like it when you do that. If I accept that this is how you are, then without anger or resentment or some other negative feeling, I can work to assist you to see your problems and correct them if you wish to.

A better example is our lives. Let us say that my life is somewhat chaotic and filled with obstacles. I can spend all my time fighting and resisting this chaos, but as we have heard and seen, what you resist, persists. I rather choose to sit back and reflect on my life and accept that it is what it is. Once I have accepted what really is, I have the possibility to clearly understand (in most cases) the proper and most appropriate next step to take. Once I know the factual situation, I am better equipped to deal with it. Once I stop trying to make life what I think it should be and accept it as it is, I can work to change it by modifying my choices. The first step is to accept reality; the second is to choose what to do with that reality, if anything.

Approval is not a determining factor in this form of acceptance. I could accept that you think a certain way while not approving your thought. But when I accept that you do indeed think that way, I can adapt myself to your situation and your limitations. In this way I would be responding to you in a more appropriate and perhaps more helpful manner. Acceptance is done without judgement. It simply says, "it is so." This also enables one to live without the subsequent condemnation that so often arises after one judges something to be really wrong. Condemnation is often not constructive. It simply declares something as bad but does not work to correct the situation. As most negative situations are created by individuals who make negative choices based on their unclear consciousness, projecting more negativity upon them usually creates increased negativity. Acceptance of a person and their choices removes that negative feedback and encourages productive exchanges.

We all have our likes and dislikes and we all know when we agree or disagree or approve or disapprove in most situations. We shall always continue to do this as it is a function of awareness. We all have our values and ideas of what is right and what is wrong. When you accept another person or you accept a situation, you are aware of what is what, without some external expectation that clouds your vision of what is correct.

If you find out one day that someone you love has died, you can go through all the stages of grieving which include resisting the idea, disbelief, anger, blaming others and so on, but sooner or later you will get to acceptance. "Yes, this has happened. Deal with it!" Reality is important to accept, for if one does not accept it, one cannot properly deal with it. After all, if you deal with an illusion you will most certainly be in illusion. If you accept and deal with reality, your acts will have practical significance!
Post Reply