|Sent on:||Thursday, November 1, 2012 11:02 PM|
The letter ‘W’ viewed from four different sides could give four very different meanings. Seen from different angles it can either be read as the number 3, an E, M or W. This just proves the point that four people sitting around a table will have at least four different opinions about the same situation. And the bizzare thing is… they are all right!
The perspective we ‘choose’ to take on any situation is heavily influenced by our past experiences, our beliefs, our conditioning, our present mood and/or a multitude of other variables. Without stopping to consider another person’s perspective, we so often think that we are ‘right’, and the other party is therefore invariably wrong.
We see this scenario played out everywhere, from school grounds to the world stage, often with disastrous consequences.
Our ego blinds us to the viewpoints of others. Our personal opinions become ‘The Truth’. We insist on keeping the blinders that make us narrow minded and judgmental, occasionally stumbling upon the realization that we have been fooling ourselves.
It takes a great deal of humility and patience to view things from another person’s perspective. How true is the saying, “Don’t comment on a person’s life, unless you have walked a mile in their shoes”?
Learning to hold back, listen, consider, and respond thoughtfully are all important skills in maintaining relationships. What is more – as we hear it ‘from the horse’s mouth’, we may even learn something new, find another way of doing things, expand our horizons, and at the very least begin to understand that everyone has something to offer. Rarely are things black or white and there may be merit in a variety of options. Real listening is the basis of good communication, and ultimately good relationships.
To insist on talking when we should be listening, is not communication, it is dictatorship.
The fact that we have nearly 7 billion people in the world would imply that we have at least that many opinions. Each human is a world unto himself and has a right to his own opinion, perspective and belief. One could wonder how then it would be possible to create harmony in any relationship, or in the world.
An orchestra is an excellent example of harmony at its best. Each instrument is so unique and yet the sound that emerges from the collective is absolutely splendid. In fact, the more instruments the ‘merrier’ the music!
If we always engage in one-sided communications, then there will always be winners and losers. However, win/win outcomes are totally possible when we stay open and curious instead of closed and critical, and when we respect each other as a human being and an individual with independent ideas and points of view.
It is always possible to acknowledge and accept someone else’s opinion without agreeing with it. This is the basis of conflict resolution – ‘to agree to disagree’. Then the doors to real communication will open.
It’s time … to stay open and to recognise that every situation has at least four differing perspectives and that I am only seeing one angle from where I am ‘sitting’. Beware of the ego and develop the humility to listen to another person’s opinion without wanting to be ‘right’. It might just teach me something I needed to learn and give me a more clear picture of ‘The Truth’!
Share these thoughts!
It’s Time is spreading far and wide! Feel free to forward this wisdom, but to avoid any karmic rebound, please acknowledge its source –
‘It’s Time’ by Aruna Ladva, BK Publications London
These thoughts have been inspired through the meditation taught by the
Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University(www.bkwsu.org)