How much time and energy do we spend thinking that we know? We make assumptions that we believe to be true which more often than not leads to conflict and turmoil.
How many times have you mistaken your coworker’s intent? How many times have you misunderstood your partner’s actions? How many times have you judged a friend’s behavior only to find out later why they were behaving in such a manner?
When we decide that we know something we act based on that, potentially false, information. We tend to jump to conclusions, mislabel, misinterpret, misunderstand, and falsely accuse based on our presumed knowledge. This creates a lot of pain for us and those whom we interact with.
How could we possibly understand the cause and influence of a scenario when all we see is the end result? How can we know the nature of a light when all that is seen is the shadow it casts?
As I am writing this I am reminded of a story about a man riding on a train with his wild children – I cannot put my hands on it at the moment, but it goes something like this:
There was a man riding on a train with his two young children. He was sitting quietly in a seat while his kids ran wildly up and down the isle of the train yelling and hitting things.
A lady on the train watched this for a while thinking to herself, “How dare you let those kids run amuck like that! Don’t you have any respect for the rest of the passengers on the train? You should get up and do something about those kids. Look at you just sitting there acting as though nothing is happening – you are rude.”
As the lady was getting up to leave she had seen enough and decided to say something to the man who was still ignoring his out-of-control children. “Your kids are really disturbing people on the train. Perhaps you should do something about it.” To which the man responded, “I’m sorry. We are on the way home from the hospital. My wife, their mother, just died. I guess none of us know how to deal with it.”
Make the choice to view through the eyes of not knowing. Try holding the belief that “I do not know and therefore cannot judge.” Try looking at other’s actions and behavior as a result of something you cannot see and love the person anyway. Choose love. Choose compassion. Choose to not know anything.