I saw this image online recently and it has one of those quotes that made me think #preach, #sotrue, and that double raised hand emoji. How can we be better human beings? I think this is a two-step process that most people focus solely on the first step (quite selfishly) and never move on to the second step. But, of course, there are varied perspectives.
This is the general breakdown:
- Seek to understand yourself.
- Open your mind to understanding others.
Q: Does understanding lead to acceptance? We all seek to be understood, by our peers, our family. Why? In understanding myself, do I become more open to understanding everyone else? Once I get to know and accept my own likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, fears and motivations, I wont be so desperate to be understood by anyone else. When I’m not so hell-bent on forcing others to understand and accept me in my truest and rawest form, then I can start doing the same for others.
On the other hand, maybe because of our own human desperation to be understood by every one around us, we give others exactly what we crave. Understanding. When I meet or interact with people who have similar or different likes, dislikes, strength, weaknesses, I can relate to their need for understanding and empathise, adjusting my communication (including things like active listening, tone of voice, patience in explaining, etc) to make the whole experience effective yet comfortable.
Analogy: People don’t come neatly cut like jigsaw puzzle pieces. I think we can bend a bit, open up a bit, and accommodate a bit until we fit. Some fits are surprisingly snug, some area bit loose but not uncomfortable. Not to be cynical, but we shouldn’t expect to only ever find perfect fits with other people when we as human beings are so gloriously varied! 🙂
Can you be that honest, open, and non-judgemental? Try it with someone you seem to just always butt heads with. Try that whole empathy thing seeing things from another point of view without the right-or-wrong glasses.
Let me know what you think or what you’ve experienced. 🙂