If you don’t understand someone, if something’s foreign to you or simply “off your screen”, if you really just don’t get where someone is coming from – rather than walk away with shrugged shoulders, making a judgment of one kind or another which closes doors, try something different. Try to get inside their shoes, to see through their eyes and further, to get inside their world view, their beliefs, their references.
Why? Well, to become more fully human for starters. To become a better representative, a better educator, a source of inspiration!
Ask another – why do you see things the way you do? Why do you do things the way you do? Really ask them, personally. You might be impressed, surprised, moved by what comes back. Better that than to live with our assumptions.
Sometimes the response will be – “Huh. I’ve never really thought about it. It’s just the way I’ve always done it”- prompting the person to self discovery. But other times what comes back is a revelation that can lead to new learning in you!
It is one thing wanting to understand someone with reference and experience quite foreign to you. That is invaluable! But this is also addressing things nearer to us and familiar to us that we may take entirely for granted. So ask your family, ask your colleagues, ask your friends – What causes you to do the things you do?
It will open your eyes and train your ‘eyes’ to be more open. There is so much more unknown about life, about each other, about ourselves than is really known. Therein lives such richness! It’s in learning to love the unknown!