Some of you may be surprised to know that the root of all evil is NOT money. The root of all evil is the belief that there is only ONE way to view the world. These are some weird times we are going through. The world seems to be regressing before my eyes. In keeping with the adage “be the change you want to see” I believe that it is necessary for me to take stock of how I really see the world. In trying to find peace and sanity in day to day existence amidst “fake” news and “alternative facts” I feel that it is crucial to understand my beliefs and see whether they need updating or amending.
A person’s life philosophy or view of the world is a combination of their genetic makeup and environmental conditioning. This just means that the way you see the world depends on your biology and your background. Someone born in the tropics for instance, will have different physical features and temperament than someone who is born in a temperate country. Someone who grows up a religious household sees and experiences the world very differently than someone who grew up with atheistic parents.
Is it any wonder that we have a hard time understanding each other even when we speak the same language? Even if we hold biology constant and we couldn’t differentiate people by their physical appearance, we would still have to deal with the person’s ideology. This is true from the micro to the macro level. In households it is common to find people holding different ideologies. They might all share the same genetics but not necessary the same world view. We find this same dynamic on a larger scale in communities and countries. There is one world, but there are seven billion different perspectives of this same world. It’s a massive undertaking to get everyone to understand the same point of view. I don’t know that this is even possible, but I believe that if we work towards it, we would be in a better place than we are today.
If I had to suggest steps, the first would be to recognize what the real problem is. We all have to collectively understand that, we see the world as we are, not as it is. We have all made our beliefs, our truth. Once we understand this then we can start the process of trying to understand the other person or the other point of view.
When we enter into discussions knowing that that when we speak the other person is translating what we say in a way that they can comprehend. This does not guarantee that we will be talking about the same thing. When we recognize this, we can spend more time trying to understand each other rather than arguing with each other. A rudimentary example to demonstrate this point is given below. What do you see in the picture? Is it a duck or a rabbit? Which is correct? Some people see the duck and others see only the rabbit. Both are correct. The trick is being able to shift from seeing one to another.
My two cents for today, is that instead of demonizing each other maybe we can use the same energy to understand what makes the other person or the other side behave the way they do. We may in the process not only learn more about others, but also more about ourselves.
The issues we are dealing with today didn’t happen overnight. It has been festering for years and like it or not we have all contributed in one way or another. If head to head combat is not working, try something else. Reach out to the players that can make a change. Connect with them, make peace with them. We need to go from the ground up. People are people and at the core we all want the same thing- peace of mind. We may all have a different idea of how to go about achieving this and what we must have to get this but it is the starting point for dialogue. We need to find more things to agree on and fewer things to fight about. Otherwise, we will just be spinning a top in mud.
My challenge for you today is to try to see the world from another person’s perspective. Choose someone-a parent, your spouse, a friend or even your children and see if you can see things they way they do, you might be surprised by what you learn.