As humans, are we generally leaving others with the burden of our words? How we’re choosing to relate to others lingering in the air as another’s estimation of our worth, value, identity or purpose in life. As if we’re just casting our eyes over each other, then casting forth judgements through our attitudes, assumptions or unspoken criticism.
Almost as if these barriers between us are based on each person’s understanding of reality, what things mean and what matters – all our personal evaluations and priorities within the complex ever-shifting realities of “life”. Given we’re all perhaps taking “thought” in service of “self”, though, isn’t it likely we all just end up defending our own perspective, our own corner of all this?
It seems intriguing how we’re each seeing things our own way: looking out at this one, shared reality, carving it up and interpreting it according to some pre-established sense of what it all means (Notes One). Presumably things can be seen in many different ways? Stacked up in various manners to reach many varied conclusions. Yet, doesn’t it all still need to come harmoniously together?
Life, in many ways, seems mutual: we don’t live in our own version of reality but in one shared by others. We can’t just insist on “our way” of interpreting things if, in doing so, we’re changing the reality of others. Isn’t life, as much as language, about agreement? About words referring to the same things, discussing them in relatable terms, and creating a common sense of meaning. (Notes Two)
In that, don’t we need to find ways of mapping the differences between us? To listen, hear through to the reality of another’s being and respect what we find there. If understanding or appreciation is lacking, doesn’t it need fostering? Some encompassing explanation of all life “is” in its diverse complexity that can move us towards the same page, rather than fighting over any one particular interpretation.
Language seems such a powerful thing. This sense with which we wrap reality in thought and send it out there. Might our words not sometimes be barbs? Comments that stick in others’ sides as painful reminders of what a fellow human thought of them, and thought it wise to say. Isn’t it all a subtle or overt display of whatever interest, care or concern we have for other people’s path through life?
If, in all we say and do, we’re conveying the worth things have in our eyes, what are we making of that? How often are we forcing our views on others, recasting their reality in light of our own? Telling people what things mean rather than asking. Won’t that generally serve to reinforce any barriers between us? Making those differences firm lines; points of disagreement; obstacles to relationship. (Notes Three)
Taking it that few have a thoroughly perfect understanding of all that’s going on in the world, how are we to navigate this and make the kinds of constructive response that move things in better directions?
Notes and References:
Note 1: The thought surrounding us
Note 1: Joining the dots
Note 1: Everything’s interconnected
Note 2: Is there any end to the power of thought?
Note 2: Mutual awareness and accommodation?
Note 2: How much do intentions matter?
Note 2: Can “how we relate” really change?
Note 3: These ideas we have of one another
Note 3: Might we lose our social muscles?
Note 3: Treading carefully in the lives of others