I was driving through an area in Arizona yesterday that looked rather dull and boring to me; miles and miles of sagebrush and desert. Many of you who have traveled the in the western United States know what I am talking about! Bleakness. When I saw a house in this desolate place, I was shocked and rather surprised that someone would live “way out here.” Yet, perspective is a tricky fellow!
As I drove the same path home, the same place I thought was so desolate and unwelcoming, looked inviting and warm. The sun was getting closer to the horizon, casting a welcome sign to its visitors of this place. I was enveloped in its sunrays and just in awe of the beauty around me.
Perspective— a tricky fellow indeed!
I think people tend to forget to take a moment and put on someone else’s shoes (figuratively) and take a look at a situation from a perspective not their own. What makes someone think or act or behave the way they do? Why do they believe so strongly one way or another towards topics that arise around them? What is the driving force behind their thoughts and beliefs?
I am not perfect, in any shape or form, yet I do my best to take another’s perspective into consideration when responding to their statements. Their thoughts and beliefs are just as important as my thoughts and beliefs. Yet, I must remember to not force what I feel strongly in my heart upon another. I try to understand from the position they are basing their beliefs upon and responding respectively. My beliefs are not someone else’s beliefs. My upbringing experiences are not someone else’s upbringing experiences. My adult life experiences are not the same as another.
We are all different people with different ideals about the world we interact and live in. We tend to forget that life brings a whole host of experiences to each individual that others have not experienced.
I have three sisters and believe me, we are so, so different in so many ways. We were brought up in the same home environment, but through our own interactions with friends, family, and life’s challenges, we have very different perspectives on the world. This brings up quite lively conversations at times when we are together; sometimes the verbal heat cranks up a notch or two! Yet, we realize that we all have a perspective unlike another’s. We all have lives separate from each other’s lives. We come from a perspective unique to ourselves.
I wish all those I interact with on a daily would learn to step to the side, for one small moment of time, to walk in someone else’s shoes and see life from their perspective. One shoe at a time if that is what it takes!
The view while standing in someone else’s shoes opens up the heart to empathy, kindness, and the incredible power of compassion.