Discussion: Do You See What I See?
July 31, 2020
My elders used to say, “What is in you will come out of you.” In today’s world we use a slightly more up-to-date version, “You behave in the way you see yourself.” And let’s not forget our favorite phrase when we categorize individuals, “Birds of a feather flock together”.
We form conclusions from our perception of individual behavior. We rationalize who they are based on our opinion of them. Families will sometimes confer together focusing on another family member whom they consider “The Black Sheep” of the family. Co-workers will shun a specific worker because of what they have deemed as peculiar ways. In organization we hear the word “cliques” within the same group of ones who are supposed to be like-minded. Despite the same mission, vision and goal we find separation in these groups or organizations among its members.
I realize we all are different in a lot of regards and for a variety of reasons. We shouldn’t regard our differences as a negative thing. It’s that we are just different, Period. What makes us identify someone’s character flaws? Or focus on their capabilities to not be on a level we believe they should be? What is it inside of us, driving us to feel virtuous and superior over another person or group?
What is in you will come out of you, true? But what is it in me that can uplift, influence or support you to discover another direction? I think when we criticize or label someone else; it reveals a lot about us and reaches the very core of what is inside of us. Whereas, we are ready to become upset when an inaccurate label is attached to us or we are the one falsely judged by others. Stop and ponder the last time you overheard something about you which you knew wasn’t true. Yet your actions validated you (if only outwardly) in what the person used to judge you when suddenly and almost defensively you heard yourself say “That’s not what I meant”.
Just in the same manner. How did you evaluate someone else? In nature there are birds of different species that flock together. In exploring this I learned that this takes place because of what each of these various species of bird offer to each other. By becoming a flock of multiple species it can sometimes provide a greater defense against predation. Inhabiting the same forest some birds sense a threat and gives an early warning of approaching danger. Other species are skillful hunters for food leading others to a nourishment source they might have missed. Their differences don’t matter, their survival does.
I recently heard the tale of an elephant and mouse that crossed a bridge together. As they crossed, the bridge shook, yet they continued walking. Once they reached the other side the mouse looked at the elephant and said, “We really shook that bridge”. Let’s shake some other bridges together. We must remember some choices will require adjustments in our way of life.
Lastly, when we observe some people's conduct and place that label on them we may have unknowingly placed that label on their pain. Everyone that requires help doesn’t know how to ask, so their actions plead for them. What you observe could be an outward manifestation of turmoil inwardly. Maybe, just maybe you were the one to encourage them through your non-judgmental action, which may end up helping them. Maybe not personally but maybe you unintentionally touch a place in their life that becomes a source of change. Just maybe, what exists within you is what they have been yearning to receive.
Thank you for joining me for Friday at Sundown. Remember… Just Breathe!
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