The holidays have come and gone once again. Don't get me wrong. I loved every minute of it. Including the last minute house guests for four days at Christmas. I loved it!! I'm just grateful for the rest I get to now take….well, ok, I wouldn't call it rest. I'm playing "catch-up" on everything - but I think I'm almost there.
During this super busy time, I was actually able to break away for an evening to spend with my hubby and our dear friends. We attended a theatrical performance that was very entertaining. It was a "spoof" on A Christmas Carol. You'd have to actually see the show to understand anything that I would write about it…so I'll just leave it at that.
A few days after the show, I actually had time to read the entire program (OK, so I was bored and didn't want to do my laundry or dishes so I employed delay tactics). What I read was really eye-opening. The main actor wrote:
"I've heard it said that while we are the MAIN character in our own "life-movie", we're merely SUPPORTING characters in the "life-movies" of the rest of the 7.5 billion people on planet earth. What?!?! Seven point five billion people are right now experiencing their own versions of life and their versions are all completely different than yours. What?!?!Thoughts like those lead me to wonder: Is my color green the same as your color green? What about red? Does a soft-serve vanilla cone taste the same to you as it does to me?Wait. You don't like soft-serve ice cream?! Are you some kind of alien??? And what do you mean you don't like that song, or that team, or that book, or that hat, or that politician, or that --!Do you see what I mean?The complicated truth is that we all face the day with prior experiences that can change, tint, or taint our attitudes and feelings. The first step towards lasting progress is learning to view the world through other people's lenses. …."
I love what he said, "…The first step towards lasting progress is learning to view the world through other people's lenses." How many times do we jump to conclusions or make snap judgments against people without knowing the full story? (I could tell you my insights on judging others, but I've already done that in another blog).
So, my first step to seeing the world through other people's lenses is to be more kind. No, I'm not going to go out of my way to tell people what I think and feel about them just to try to make them feel better about themselves, but I am going to share a smile with everyone. You'd be amazed what a smile can do to someone's day!
Another good thing to do is take a breath! How many times do we get "hurt" or "offended" at the drop of a hat, then turn right around and jump down other peoples' throats because we are now having a "bad day"? Sometimes people say or do things that are hurtful or mean and they don't really know what they are doing. It's just their personality. It doesn't make it right…but if you choose to turn around and fly off the handle, that doesn't make things any better either. So, if someone is rude or mean, take a breath and choose to be the bigger, better person. You could even go so far as to say, "Gee, I'm sorry you're having a rotten day. Hope things get better soon." Then smile and walk away. Don't feed into their negativity.
I have found that if you let others express their own opinion once in a while, you will better understand where they are coming from and what exactly their viewpoint is. For example, I recently asked my young children a question just to see what they would say. I knew the answer I was looking for, but I wanted to see through their lenses. When I asked them, they both answered the question the same, it was just different wording from each of them. This started a huge argument between the two of them. I was able to diffuse the situation by getting them to breathe and then I repeated the answer they both gave me. I was able to calmly point out that even though the wording was different, they were both saying the same thing. As it is in life. You may be saying one thing and someone may be saying the same thing just a bit differently, but in reality it's the same answer, just different wording.
A good thing to remember is, you are only one of 7.5 BILLION people on the planet. Not everyone is going to think just like you. How you see the world and how others see the world are completely different and that is OK. I am often heard saying that if everyone thought just like me (or you) in any kind of relationship, one of us is unnecessary.
I am grateful for the diversity all around me. It gives me perspective on what others think and feel. It also helps me to see things just a bit different. This has happened to me several times. For example, I posted a great rendition of the Star Spangled Banner video on YouTube a couple years ago (I also wrote a blog that uses this video). The content in the video is amazing! It just happens to not be completely accurate on how history happened. I've had several comments about the blog, some of them nice, others not so nice. I just ignored the "not nice" ones, but the one that got to me most was from a gentleman who stated that the historical facts weren't entirely correct in the video I shared. He then went on to list a site that does in fact give accurate information. I was so touched that he took the time to share this with me that I actually looked up the information and was fascinated with what I found. I kindly thanked him for the information and we both went on our merry way. There weren't any "slandering words" that were exchanged. I didn't take down my video. He accepted my work and I accepted his information that was kindly given.
This is what is meant by "looking through other people's lenses." Have an open mind to see things a different way. Don't take offense at every little thing. Be willing to step back, take a breath, and accept people for who they are and what they think. Sometimes you're gonna have to agree to disagree.
So, as with all the insights I share with you, may you take what I have written and use it in your life, or just choose to see things through my lenses for just a moment.