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I experience that most people believe they know, know another, know why a person acts this way or that, know what causes someone to do something, know why they feel a certain way, know… However, we cannot know.
Even when it is our children, parents, family or close friends, we cannot know. The journey of each single human being is unique. How we experience life, interpret what happens, react and live is completely individualistic.
Why then do we spend so much time trying to persuade another to think like we do? Convince them of living a certain way? Doing things the way we want?
What would the world be like if we accepted, valued and honored each individual for exactly who they are? Allowing them to BE, free of judgment and coercion.
I chuckle at this thought, for I am not sure we can do it. It seems to be an intrinsic behavior to seek like minded souls and if we don’t find them to try hard to make someone become more like us.
I freely admit I am very guilty of this behavior. Passionately so in my early twenties, I was eager to convince all who would listen that we should eat healthy, exercise, care about the environment, etc…. Of course I still have my strong personal feelings about life, how I prefer to live, what I like to do and to whom I like to share time with. However, I have come to understand that I cannot know, ever.
I find this to be wonderful, for it means I will always get to hear a different story. Learn something new. Look at something from a different perspective. It keeps the world interesting. It also means I get to be ME, freely with delight.
I invite you to play with this idea –
- Ask a sibling or friend to share about an experience you both participated in – notice the differences and similarities.
- Talk with a colleague about something you both attended, same time and place – did they experience the same things?
- Explore memories with your partner/spouse, friend, children…?
It can be eye opening to learn how differently we each experience the world. We can never KNOW what another feels or experiences.