I have been giving a lot of thought recently to the topic of perspective. Specifically, how looking at things from different points of view can change how you see them. I attribute the source of these thoughts to the current negative response to the differences of people across the U.S. At the time of this writing, I turned 56 years old and I can say with confidence that I have never sensed a greater division in our country than I do at this current time.
What is the cause of these divisions? I believe that a great deal of the conflicts we suffer in life are a direct result of not being able to see past our own internal prejudices and look at things from the point of view of the other person.
What is that you say, you aren't prejudiced? Well, whether you like it or not, and whether you admit it or not, every person on the face of this planet is prejudice in some way, shape, or form. Now it may not be in the classic form of racial, religious, or political prejudice that so many people automatically think of, but, none the less, it is still there. Prejudice is simply defined as an outlook towards an individual or community, based solely upon a preconceived idea or preference which is devoid of objectivity and reasoning.
You see, we are the sum of all our experiences, the information we feed our brains, the values passed down to us by our families, and a broad array of other factors. What may be fine for one person may be taboo for another because it is our own perspective that governs how we see the world and everything that happens in it.
As I was saying at the beginning, there are many times that we find ourselves in conflict with either individuals or the world at large. The real issue isn't whatever has us upset but it is in our perspective of what is going on. If we try to view things from a different perspective, we can save ourselves a lot of grief and anger.
Remember a "W" upside down is an "M". On one side of the table it is an "E" and on the other, it is a "3". It all depends on the angle you are viewing it from.
My challenge for you this week:
Take a few minutes to examine your prejudices. They really do impact your approach to living your best life in a world filled with diversity.
Write down your top three prejudices.
Examine why you get upset over these things.
How do you treat people who disagree with your prejudices?
Practice learning to recognize and even value perspectives outside of your own, which will greatly expand your empathy for others.
I promise that if you will engage in the challenge, and change your mindset towards differences, you will become an elite role model of the values of our country. You will also position yourself to avoid many unnecessary conflicts and grow as a person both spiritually, professionally, and socially.