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The More Potential is Spotted, the Better it is for Everyone

Updated on August 11, 2018
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Charmaine is a poet and freelance writer who offers a Cartomancy service. Charmaine loves ideas and using a holistic approach to life.

Spot the Potental
Spot the Potental | Source

The More Potential Is Spotted, the Better it is for Everyone

Richard Green’s thinking assignment offered in her Hubpage’s article on 99 Shrewd Quotes this August 2018 inspired me to explore not only this long held and well-loved quote treat people as if they were what they ought to be and she/him helps others to become what they are capable of being but to remember and reflect my hidden long held expectations of what an Employer, a Leader, looks like.

Spotting the Traits or Actions that You Wouldn’t Mind Being Subjected to.

Ever since I entered into the workforce I believed my Employer would look like the Leader mentioned below. I couldn’t never understand why my Employer wasn’t that way. It didn’t make sense to me as people were your pot of gold.

Nurturing people together with providing a learning and inspiring environment where people could look forward to spending their day at work (rather starting off their day with migraines because of the forced duration of the mind games, power struggles, undermining and watching your back) was what I believed happened naturally. But no, this was never the case.

This kind of Leader is vogue now and becoming at least the expected Leader of the average everyday employee.

Joy of Learning
Joy of Learning | Source

In Summary, What Does This Leader Look Like?

  1. The Leader treats people as if they were what they ought to be and she/him helps others to become what they are capable of being
  2. The Leader shares the assigned power and status with others so that it is a peer to peer relationship.
  3. The Leader does not rule by fear. The Leader fosters the spreading joy and harmony.
  4. Purpose matters. The Leader encourages others to find their personal purpose and to connect with others who either share the same purpose or who have an interest in supporting that person to achieve their purpose.
  5. The Leader fosters a spirit of learning so that people can become more than what they are.
  6. The Leader prioritizes to building and securing of trust and trustworthy relationships.
  • Hearing both what is said and particularly what is not said.
  • Illuminating needs and wants
  • Telling it as it is so reality is seen for what it is
  • Encouraging people to feel safe in sharing their opinions so that transparency of motivations and actions are manifested. The Leader exemplifies and encourages others to be reflective/thoughtful and courteous in their communication style. The Leader recognizes being courteous is the one small kindness, the one important gluing action that encourages the growth of an authentic connection and relationship

How Can A Quote Become A Guiding Principle and What Can That Look Like

Now, this article is not directly about Leadership but more about exploring how words (e.g a favourite quote) can affect us and influence us to become more than what we are or to choose consciously what our personal or work life desires to be..

Richard Green’s article brought to the fore how long I have held and worked silently with this quote treat people as if they were what they ought to be and she/him helps others to become what they are capable of being as one of my day in and day out guiding values.

I have applied a number of Richard Green’s thinking questions to explore the obvious and/or hidden layers of meaning for this quote. If you have a favourite quote please join in and explore the depths of meaning that awaits you. It may surprise you of what you have learnt.

Treat People As If They Were What They Ought to Be and You Help Them to Become What They Are Capable of Being

— by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German Poet, Novelist, Playwright

Treat People As If They Were What They Ought to Be and You Help Them to Become What They Are Capable of Being is a quote invented by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German Poet, Novelist, Playwright

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was born in 1749 and is of the western zodiac sign of Virgo. He stood 1.69 m tall.

He is seen to be the most famous German poet of all times and is considered a universal genius. He has made significant contributions to not only literature but to the arts and natural science.

It’s not enough to know, it is not enough to wish, one must also do

— Johann Goethe-Poet, Novelist

Some of his other quotes are:-

  1. It’s not enough to know, it is not enough to wish, one must also do
  2. Correction does much, but encouragement does more
  3. A person only hears what he understands
  4. When you live within limits want one thing or want a few things very much and love them dearly. Cling to them, survey them from every angle, become one with them, that is what makes one become the poet, the artist, the human being

Correction does much, but encouragement does more

— Johann Goethe-German Poet and Novelist

Exploring Layers of Meaning Through Asking Questions

Who Could This Observation Belong to?

If I were to ask myself, who could this observation belong to? My instinctual response would be teachers.

To me, teachers are given the opportunity to impact and influence children and teens for a long time. Either for better or worse. However, if I reflect upon this quote longer, I think this advice could also refer to people who are seen to be in an unequal or inferior position within either the family structure, society and/or the world. (E.g. the poor, the sick, the cursed, racial groups, gender groups..) Somehow this observation reminds me of the universality of value-the universality of worthiness and that bigger is not necessarily better.

I watched a one to one interview recently with a top Australian Sydney based forensic psychologist Tim Watson-Munro who held a 40 year position as the criminal psychologist for Parramatta Goal, where the live-ins were there for their lifetime.

He has 20,000 case studies under his wing.

Diagnosing 200 killers.

Tim Watson-Munro said no matter how sinister the crime was or the person who committed the crime, there is always at least one redeeming feature/character trait of the person with a dark nature and/or history.

He found some of these killers lead secret lives. They could be married with children and love their family very much. Yet cross them in a dark alleyway, and you had better run for your life. In other words, this perspective make you question, reflect or put the brakes on before you allow yourself to jump onto the hate bandwagon with a mob of others leading you to assume the target is guilty before looking at the facts or situation in whole. Furthermore remind yourself everyone should be given a second chance to redeem themselves.

A Second chance, Yes. But not a Third chance.
A Second chance, Yes. But not a Third chance. | Source

Observation is Inspiration

This advice or observation supports me to keep in check any overkill of hubris. To me every person you meet directly or indirectly, serves as a Teacher and a Student in and of life. Through their stories and perspectives our World grows expanding and enriching our lives. How could you say no to that?

To treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being is useful to others as it shows the way to our humanity and decreases the need to force one's Will over either loved ones or strangers to control their life so that you can better serve your own agenda.

Hence serving to keep in check the slide into your omnipotence and thereby inadvertently supporting the growth of brotherhood and sisterhood-peer level connections and relationships

For me, everyone has a place in the world.

Everybody has the right to belong.

We may have different roles to fill and some roles may seem more or less in the eyes of some but that is only because the administration team and society at large make it that way. However, I believe most life roles are geared to making our lives less difficult socially, financially, emotionally or mentally.

Only a Fool Breaks Culture?

Does the above observation have any specific cultural meaning that may differ from one cultural setting to another?

I’m not too sure how to respond to this thinking question. What automatically comes to mind is the reminder that life comes in waves and cycles.

Each person or epoch rises and falls in its needs artistically, literature wise, music wise, ritual wise so that the needs of the human heart are attended to. This doesn’t necessarily mean that one period is better or worse or apathetic. It just is for that time in history there is a cry out for a different set of values or another type of solution for either that main societal group or even the given minority group,.For me, that doesn’t imply that there is one inherent right way of approaching or fixing a situation or need. Any situation is organic and we need to adapt alongside of it.

Words Can Evoke Immense Feelings of Generosity and Kindness, If We Let Them
Words Can Evoke Immense Feelings of Generosity and Kindness, If We Let Them | Source

This quote brings up feelings of kindness and a want to understand together with organically growing and adapting without demeaning a person or making them out to be wrong or right. To me this quote still comes across as being humane and liberal minded. I love that!

Paraphrasing Keeps Going, Going, Going…

If I paraphrased this observation keeping the original meaning however using my own words and ideas, I would say something along these lines: - address the elephant in the room and allow the caterpillar to evolve into a proud shining Lion. In other words be willing to be sensitive and look beyond the surface to see what else could be going on. Look for a potential hidden reason or hidden shame that is holding back the caterpillar from metamorphisizing into its most shining courageous or proud self for its given set of circumstances.

If for some reason my interpretation still didn’t make sense to you, I found these two Puffin Book Nursery Rhymes which are offspring meanings I see expressed within Johann Goethe’s quote treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being…..

As we think well of the moon, so the moon wishes us well. The same is for others that make up our life everyday
As we think well of the moon, so the moon wishes us well. The same is for others that make up our life everyday | Source

The Moon

I see the Moon

And the Moon sees me

God Bless the Moon

And God bless me

The Key of the Kingdom

This is the key of the Kingdom

In that the Kingdom is a city

In that the city is a town

In that town there is a street

In that street there winds a lane

In a lane there is a yard

In a yard there is a house

In that house there waits a room

In that room there is a bed

On that bed there is a basket

A basket of flowers

Flowers in a basket

Basket on the bed

Bed in the chamber

Chamber in the house

House in the weeding yard

Yard in the winding lane

Lane in the broad street

Street in the high town

Town in the city

City in the kingdom

This is the key of the kingdom.


Reach Out and Go Deeper

Yes, this observation served to teach me not to take things at face value. In other words look more deeply.

Don’t be fooled by outer circumstances.

See where you can give a hand up (not a hand out). and I would encourage you to do this not looking for applause. However I also would encourage you to also do what you are only willing to do. That is the best kind of giving.

To treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being is a gracious, benevolent and life expanding act when applied to others.

Goethe's words are life enhancing to me.

However, if I were to apply it to the culture of the people within the town I reside, they would give me the bird (the middle finger) and say not on your life. Here, its first in first serve, bugger you! It’s about me and that’s all I need to know and think about. This attitude is both constructive and destructive. In this town? it's by and large on the destructive side .

In Conclusion....

I want to encourage you not to be a Pollyanna but more often than not appeal to the noblest part of your spouse, partner, lover, parent, sibling, friend, child, co-worker….

And just maybe sprinkles of sunshine, goodwill, kindness and decency may come to shower upon you. Making your world a little more tender, nicer and easier to experience both within the workplace and at home.

Quotes Become

See results

© 2018 Threekeys


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    • threekeys profile imageAUTHOR


      6 days ago from Australia

      Its nice to know you found something useful and/or relatable Dream On.

      All the best to you.

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 

      6 days ago

      I sit here and listen. As I read the words off the computer screen a voice carries each thought and then to a great meaning. I accidentally sprayed bug spray on me and got some in my left eye. I feel a burning sensation that I thought would go away. I have rinsed my eye out in cold water, tried putting aloe on my lid and surrounding area and now put a cold compress and even a cucumber slice thinking it will heal it. It just takes time. I will tell you boy does it sting. As I read all your incredible works I am inwardly moved to a place I have great trouble to describe. When I read comments from other wonderful writers that inspire and emulate all that you have said I am also influenced in so many ways. Thank you for helping each and every one of us live the life we want to live. May this day and every day after be one more blessing we can enjoy and share.

    • threekeys profile imageAUTHOR


      6 days ago from Australia

      Salaam manitita.

      Im glad to see you are feeling stronger within yourself.

      That was a generous and welcoming action from the Goethe Centre in Nairobi.

      You must have wriiten some wonderful quotes of your own manitita. Perhaps you may like to share their meanings with us here one day soon.

    • threekeys profile imageAUTHOR


      6 days ago from Australia

      So let them think you are from Mars:) It will stretch them. I value your thoughts Tim.

    • manatita44 profile image


      7 days ago from london

      A very beautiful Hub from beginning to end and one I enjoyed reading. Quotes are so meaningful to us! We do not often think of them, but the Psalms, the beatitudes and others, have helped us all.

      Again, we do not even need to read them, for just as Shakespeare's Sonnets, they travel in the ether and are said - sometimes unconsciously - by our friends, parents, teachers, written in other books … so many places!

      Goethe was definitely a great man, but perhaps more importantly is his contribution to mankind. There is a Goethe Centre in Nairobi, Kenya and they were very nice to me when I went there. They even put my Sri Chinmoy poster up.

      Yes, we should always be helping others to be their better selves. I have so many faults! So why should I waste time looking at others? I try to serve, to encourage, to inspire … to elevate the deeper part of man: the Heart.

      America is my favourite place for top motivators and Stephen Covey was one of them. Your leadership qualities are excellent and Covey spent his life talking about leadership. His son has now taken the mantle, but the father was a genius and still is, via his many videos.

      Thoughts can be so similar. Your great quote, reminds me of Confucius, somehow. Funny how we can expand on intuitive ideas in so many different ways.

      Your moon and other poems are quite cute. Simplicity in a meaningful way.

      I see a definite spiritual augmentation or advancement in your work. Carry on … carry on, Threekeys. Salaam!

    • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

      Tim Truzy 

      7 days ago from U.S.A.

      Excellent, Threekeys. I love this article. There's much for people to learn including myself within your work here.

      I like the idea of trying to raise people up to their greatest potential even if they are unaware of it. My dad used to tell me to keep shooting for the moon because even if I missed, I would still wind up among the stars. If I wind up among the stars, then a galaxy of opportunities awaited me.

      I discovered this was applicable to others as well. I provide the rocket fuel for my students, even if they think I'm from Mars some days.

      Much respect,

      Great read and thought provoking.



    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      10 days ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Simply marvelous for you, too many smarty pants think the do not need to look for their own method of study. Like as if they found it. "Licensed" in ministry and a bachelors in philosophy and I thought I had it Monday, and by Monday night it eluded me once again.

      Perhaps you just told my why I like your writing so much. Thanks

    • threekeys profile imageAUTHOR


      10 days ago from Australia

      There are many wonderful and relatable philosophers/poets.

      I have enjoyed the observations and advice from those you have cited Eric.

      Im still trying to form my own philosphical foundation. It seems to be an ongoing challenge depending who or what crosses my path.

      All the best to you and your loved ones.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      10 days ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I voted other. Each affects me differently. Dalai Lama and Christ and even Buddha never let me down. And yet there is much in Nietzsche and Marx who have, and yet lifted me up.

      My big brother (6'7") who was All American and All state in two sports always referred to synergism. Well he beat it into my head on the courts.

      I think true potential is made in accepting the assist. I am nuts but get mine from God.

      Really cool stuff here. Thanks


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