Most of us want to be accepted and feel like we are loved, appreciated and part of something more. We want to have meaningful connections and relationships with people. We all hurt when we feel unaccepted for whatever reason, but we must first be able to accept ourselves and others.

Walking down the hall at school or work, driving on the road or sitting at a restaurant, many of us look at others and notice what is different about them or what we don’t like. However, a shift in the opposite direction – finding things that are similar and that we do like about them – can have a profound effect on our lives and theirs. We can still strive for success without having to make everything into a comparison or competition, and we certainly don’t have to step on others with judgment in our attempt to elevate ourselves.

It is entirely possible for someone to have a high level of self-confidence without thinking that we’re better than someone else. While I don’t espouse to belong to any particular religion, faith or dogmatic system, I did find the symbolic gesture of Pope Francis washing the feet of prison inmates to be good example of humility and acceptance.