A great deal of conflict exists in this world because someone has not had the opportunity to look at an issue from another person’s point of view.
It is rather simple.
People are dying, and wars are being waged, at this very moment, because of the plain fact that people do not understand where other people are coming from.
Even writing just those few lines, I believe that I could anger some individuals.
Why? Why do we believe that we have the right to be offended because someone mentions that there is something we do not understand? There are crap-loads, upon crap-loads of things that I do not understand, but two of the reasons that I like myself are because I will openly admit that fact, and because I am willing to try to understand that things that I do not.
I believe that one of my greatest blessings, as a human being, is my willingness to try and help people see situations from another perspective.
It takes time and effort to do this, and I will willingly admit that it can be absolutely mentally exhausting; this is the precise reason that the majority of people do not engage in the practice.
Instead we argue, we spread propaganda, and we list statistics in an attempt to back up our point of view, when instead, the absolute truth is that if we took thirty minutes to engage in a dialogue with another person, maturely and patiently, we could do a hell of a lot to help make the world a better place.
I am guilty of approaching opportunities to share understanding incorrectly many, many, times throughout my life.
I believe that we all know people, have all made friends in our lives, whose personal stories are special, compelling, and powerful enough to help others see the world from a different point of view.
Second and third and fourth person knowledge does so little so impact social misunderstandings, especially when it is passed on in a format that is meant to degrade individuals who happen to have an opposing opinion.
Sharing heartfelt personal experiences, which evoke human emotion, is the best way to compel people to look at an issue from a different perspective.
And yes, the pursuit of evoking emotion is absolutely off limits when it comes to the rules of traditional debate, but sometimes rules need to be changed. This is not a game after all; we are talking about issues that directly affect the lives of people living on this planet.
Many of us are better at this than we think. I urge you to give someone time. Talk to a person who sees things differently than you see them, and give them a tiny fragment of your life.
If you share a heartfelt experience, and patience with them…if you listen to what they have to say…you may even discover that you have learned something valuable as well.
We can all build bridges each and every day of our lives. We can affect change, and slowly but surely, we can solve problems, simply by giving up our time.