Can you remember a time when you were in bed and something in the room looked scary only to turn on the light and see the monster turn into a sweatshirt on a broomstick or a backpack on a chair? When you shine a spotlight on something, the simple act of illuminating the subject can really change how you feel about whatever it is.
This same experience takes shape every time there is a miscommunication and judgment is involved. The kind of judgment I am talking about are statements – like jerk or idiot – that imply wrongness or that carry an image that is a label. This happens when, based on our limited perspective, we come to a conclusion about someone or something and see it through our judgment.
Have you ever dug your heals in during an argument or debate certain that you were right? You may even feel outraged at times that someone is questioning your point of view – particularly when it comes to memories or experiences that you had. When we feel certain that we are right, then we must also feel certain that a differing view point is wrong.
Did it ever occur to you that you could both be right?
Did you ever stop to consider that your judgment may not be the whole truth?
Each of us can view the same scary object in the dark and come up with different judgments about what it is that we are observing. We filter the information through our perspective and experience the object differently. The same is true with any information that we receive. We take in a piece of the information and fill in the gaps with what we already know and believe to determine how to label the information.
The truth is that we cannot ever see the whole picture. We cannot see the situation through the other person’s perspective. Two people can view the same object or situation and feel completely differently about it. Does that make either of them wrong? Or can they both be right because that is the truth of their experience?
The next time that you start to judge in a way that implies wrongness in another take a moment to consider other points of view. Try illuminating the situation to see things for what they are. Consider that you only have one perspective of the whole.