How often do we tend to come up with our own opinions about something based on our own perceptions and experiences and then consider them to be “facts”?
Pretty often, right?
How many times have you heard two people argue because they don’t agree about something, some place, or someone? It’s actually quite silly when you really think about it. Not only do we judge others based on their color, race, religion, or sex, but we often go so far as to judge other people’s thoughts, beliefs, and even their opinions.
The real fact is that we are each living in our own separate reality. There is no right or wrong thought, opinion, belief, or lifestyle. There are simply differences that we should all accept given the vast diversity of our environments, resources and experiences in this extensive world of ours.
Every single one of us is the accumulation of all the separate experiences we have had up until now… and like fingerprints, no two are alike.
Each and every one of us is:
In a different place,
Seeing different things,
Involved in different activities,
Reading different books, watching different shows,
Experiencing different emotions, listening to different stories and
Interacting with different people who have yet another dimension of their own differences.
Our differences are astronomical and you are perfectly you at this precise moment in time. There is no need to compare, feel inferior, or better than another. We are all doing our best, where we are, with what we have.
“Every person has a different view of another person’s image. That’s all perception. The character of a man, the integrity, that’s who you are.” – Steve Alford, American basketball coach and former player who is currently the head coach of the UCLA Bruins men’s basketball team.
As we grow up, we become, in large part, the product of the environment around us, and our own personal experiences, focus and mindsets shape our thoughts, beliefs and ideas. Even two identical twins raised in the same household will not see things in exactly the same way. But who is right and who is wrong when two people don’t agree? Neither, of course. They are both right according to themselves and their own reality.
So… to answer the question, “Do others see what we see?”, the short answer is, “No, they don’t.”
And that’s a great thing because without the collaboration of many different realities, minds, experiences, perceptions, and beliefs in this expansive world of ours, we would not grow as a race and we would likely be extinct.
Embrace diversity. It is the very thing that has kept us going up until now.
“In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” – Charles Darwin, English naturalist and geologist, best known for his contributions to evolutionary theory.
Accepting and learning from other people’s experiences, as well as their mistakes, is not only the key to a more successful personal life, as it helps us advance further than we could have on our own, but it’s the key to all advancements in every area of study.
The next time you don’t agree with someone’s opinion, just listen and ask questions. They could have a piece of information that you don’t have. They may teach you something that could catapult you further than you ever could have traveled on your own.
Never limit yourself to only what you can see.
About the Author: Michelle C. Ustaszeski-Hutchinson is the Founder and Executive Editor of The Teen Mentor, LLC, based in Coopersburg, Pennsylvania. She is a Personal Development Expert and The Faciliator of Wisdom. As co-author of 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life, Michelle teamed with some of the top motivational gurus such as Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy, Jim Rohn, Denis Waitley, and Joe Vitale in order to offer a compilation of self-improvement teachings. She has been quoted as a “Master of Success” among some of the worlds most famous thinkers and published in numerous books and on thousands of websites around the world. Read More…