It is common to hear phrases like "They shouldn't think that way" or "Why don't they do it this way?". I, too, have been guilty of this mindset. However, a recent experience served as a vivid reminder that we are made up of incredible physical, emotional, and intellectual differences.
While observing those around me, I was struck by the stark differences in physical attributes. Some men towered over me, some possessed beautiful musical voices, a talent I lack, and others exhibited other unique skills I do not possess. Their bodies varied in shape and color, just like their eyes. They came from different countries, spanning a range of ages. This display of humanity made me realize that we are indeed very different.
Acknowledging and appreciating these outward differences seems easier than recognizing their variety of thoughts and perspectives. Despite this, I often think that others should share my viewpoint. This expectation seems absurd when I consider how uniquely God created each of us. My upbringing, education, and life experiences are mine alone, shaping a unique worldview that others may not share or appreciate.
This realization begs the question: If I can accept and even celebrate our physical differences, why do I struggle to do the same with mental and emotional differences? Many factors influence my thinking and opinions – culture, environment, education, experiences, and personal journeys. Expecting others to think and see the world exactly as I do is unrealistic.
Sharing one's thoughts with others can cultivate empathy, foster understanding, and create a stronger bond.
Just as I marvel at the variety in physical appearance, I am now open to how people think and perceive the world. This openness enriches my life, broadens my horizons, and ultimately makes me more compassionate and understanding.
I want to let go of the notion that others should think like me. Not that I should accept their thoughts and opinions, but I need not become twisted and controlled by them and think I should rebut and change their thinking.
How about you? Is it difficult to allow others a difference of opinion?
Watch for the blind spots.
I appreciate your feedback, it is invaluable.
Get a copy of Blind Spots in Relationships. Discover the hidden behavior that can be holding you back from the relationships you desire. http://tinyurl.com/yc3usfsp