I’ve always been fascinated with how different people see things so differently.
I used to think there was one absolute ‘Right’ or one absolute ‘Wrong’ for everything. I probably had been conditioned into believing that there was some kind of straight and narrow path that I needed to tread, if I were to live a satisfactory life. And religion certainly had reinforced that need for compliance.
Something never quite added up for me, though. I often noticed that in any argument I ever witnessed (small or large), both parties usually seemed to have a valid point that I could understand clearly, and empathize with as well.
Well-meaning as I often was, I would eagerly try to explain to each one why the other may have chosen to act the way they did. It seemed crystal clear to me, but my explanations did nothing to convince anyone of anything.
And slowly something began to dawn on me that I later realized, was quite important. While I certainly understood ‘perspective’ I had not factored in something else. It was simply, the right to ‘perspective’ that each of us has.
People are generally pretty much convinced they are right – and of course they always are, from their own perspective. I could soothe, pacify or try to explain as much as I could, but my explanations would always be doomed to fall on deaf ears. That’s when I realized it would probably be better for me to stop advising anyone of anything and allow them to tune in to their own perspective —or not!
Don’t we all have a choice in every moment? We can be content in our perspective—or we can whip up a flurry of angst, trying to convince everyone else of our point of view.
Of course there will be plenty who claim the other does not have an open mind. But aren’t those the same people desperately breaking all boundaries just to make everyone agree with their perspective? And often, they’re the most unhappy ones.
As for me, I have come into my own understanding that suits me just fine. I choose to ‘be happy’, rather than ‘be right’—which often means taking into consideration what the other is saying, and then working that into my own comfort zone.
And the virtuous ones will condemn me. And of course they’ll be ‘right’ in their perspective. But the question is: Will they be happy?
I suspect not, because condemnation and true happiness can never truly co-exist.
© 2018 G.A.I.L