Pity and Praise are both Projections (Quote by Jena Schwartz)

Pity and Praise are both Projections (Quote by Jena Schwartz)

Pity and Share are projections

“Pity and praise — both are projections.

Pity and praise — they are forms of judgment or expressions of fear that keep us from really knowing each other.

I’m reminded of the brilliant teachings of Vicki Hoefle, who helps parents understand that praising our kids is in some ways no better than punishing them.

And so to really know, to really listen, to really see someone as they are right now, no matter what they’ve experienced, survived, overcome, or endured, is to listen. To listen without saying, “you poor thing” or “you’re so amazing” — responses are almost always well-intentioned but corner us into a role rather than allowing us to be both shaped by and also so much bigger than our stories.

We are always changing.

Don’t pity me. Don’t praise me. Just love me. This sounds like a simple set of instructions, doesn’t it? Maybe, as in ‘simple but not easy.’

I’ll be practicing for the rest of my life.”

by Jena Schwartz

I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. Sue Krevitt 12 months ago

    Yes….what it all “boils down to” is love. We are simply to love.
    Not to judge, not to fear, all that…just to love.

    Thanks for the love, Polly!


  2. Brian G 12 months ago

    Great thought – I never put praise into that situation – something new to think about.

    For me, it is also a matter of balance when practicing, so I don’t take the easy way out, forget about Love, and just become static and stoic.

  3. Dilys 12 months ago

    Being a grandmother, I wanted to let my grandchildren know that they were loved unconditionally, not because of their achievements. They are all different and special in their own ways and equally valued.
    However, I hadn’t considered the above! So I will give that some consideration.

    • Author
      Polly Castor 12 months ago

      Deeply listening to them will communicate it best.

  4. Brian G 12 months ago

    I realized that I used the term stoic in haste, and apologize if that seems unloving or ungraceful. I meant to say indifferent.

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