Courage to Understand A Different View Point

(Part 3 of our Unconditional Love series)

In part one of our three-part series on Unconditional Love, we opened up the possibility of living from a space of “I love you and I accept you even though I don’t understand you.” In part two we answered the question “If I’m loving and accepting everyone does that mean they can do whatever they want? Am I still supposed to love and accept them”? Today, in part three, we will look at ways to connect with those individuals that you really want to slap upside the head because they just don’t get it. Is it really them that aren’t getting it though?

Over the last year I have seen multiple posts on Facebook about people unfriending those who don’t agree with them, usually about politics, and also other things like religion. Let’s face it. This behavior isn’t new because of social media. There are many families and friends throughout history that have been torn apart because of different beliefs. What’s different is now they’re sharing it with the whole world.

Why don’t we all think the same? Why doesn’t everyone see it like I see it? Are they really just that dumb? Admit it – you’ve had that thought! I have. I truly thought everyone saw the same world I did, and they were just clueless. They would leave me frustrated, annoyed, angry, pissed off, or sometimes, just downright confused.

NEWS FLASH: No two people see everything the same.

Our views and beliefs were starting to be ingrained by the time we were seven years old. Everything that we learned from someone else is our foundation. By the time we are about 20 years old, they feel rock solid based on what others taught us, what we observed and what we experienced. Dammit, whatever we believed, it was the truth! It had to be. It certainly felt like the truth, and if someone else’s way was right, that would make my way wrong. That wasn’t going to happen.

Here is today’s million dollar question – What if everyone is right?

Gasp! I’ve taught for years the philosophy that we don’t need to make someone else wrong for us to be right. This is taking that lesson one step further to at least be open to asking the question – what if we are both right? The scenario of everyone being right is a result of the ability to learn from someone else’s point of view, to see life through their experiences, and to understand why they believe what they believe. It’s the ability to truly see them.

It takes incredible courage to see someone else because it means you may have to see something different in yourself. They are giving you a gift. The next time you don’t see eye-to-eye with someone, and you are headed for a difficult conversation, use the three magic words TELL ME MORE.

These three words say to the speaker, “I’m listening, so help me understand why you feel this way, and why it’s important to you.” Once you have some understanding, put yourself in their shoes and consider the point from their perspective. While you may not change your belief, I promise you will be able to see the situation more clearly. You will realize that they, just like you, are a human living based on how they’ve been programmed.

Maybe the whole time we’ve all been clueless because we thought the answer was to be right. Maybe the right answer is to love and accept people even when we don’t understand them. I’m going with that for now because it feels a whole lot better.