I identify as a christian humanist, I know people think that's an oxymoron but I dont care, anyway, the humanistic message has always impressed and inspired me but I think that I've really only begun to move from intellectualising around this to something more experiential lately. I'll explain.
Erich Fromm, one of the humanists I'm more familiar with, writes about a sort of first principle in which a humanist has to recognise that nothing human is foreign to them, so you apply analysis and insight and reflection to develop empathy. I definitely think that's part of it. That's empathy as distinct from sympathy, you can understand with supporting in any way, infact I think proper empathy can involve understanding but objecting or challenging were appropriate.
The other major part which I've begun to think about is context or being able to stand apart from the immediate circumstances and see people in a concrete sense and not just roles, functions, labels or, perhaps, expectations. I think its very, very easy, I know I do it, to left scripts you've learned seize up your thinking, let past experience determine future experiences, believe that your own experience is/will/ought to be mirrored by everyone elses. Breaking from this sort of thing which I am describing is a little like a "matrix moment". I dont really believe in automaton conformity as its ususally conceptualised, at least not as it has been in the past, people have insight and the attempt to break with supposed conformist grooves or ruts has become a greater patterned thing itself. Its just more to do with the extensive automatic behaviour people engage in.
The thing about this, is that I reckon it can result in two things, it can be really motivating, ie possessing insights sure can provide perspective and with that great emotional balance, on the other it can be really demotivating, ie not everyone is going to possess the same insights or think you're just aloof or arrogant if you arent in tune with them.
Anyone want to add anything or talk about this topic?