Judgment fades in the presence of understanding…

… But in order to understand, we must first suspend what we already believe to be “true”.

There are so many perspectives battling it out right now, with everyone thinking that theirs is ‘right’ and justified. We tend to believe our personal views because they’re based on our own actual experiences. We’ve lived it, so how could they not be?

But keeping an open-mind is essential if we want to see a bigger picture. Learning to take ourselves out of our own experience to try out someone else’s for a moment: why do they believe what they do? What experiences could they have had that led them to this? Is there something I could be missing? Is it possible to find some common ground? This requires a certain level of empathy and compassion (also patience and open-mindedness), which can be difficult if someones views are completely different than ours.

But these are the kinds of nuanced conversations we need to start having. We need to learn how to suspend our beliefs for a moment in order to meet someone where they are; to make an effort to try to understand the actual Human behind it, rather than conveniently lumping them into a label or a fixed idea of who we ‘think’ they are. The world is much more complex than that and connections can’t be made if we just keep on burning the bridges between each other. There are much better solutions than resorting to name-calling, belittling, verbal abuse or even physical violence towards someone who believes something different. People won’t open when being yelled at, but they might when they actually feel seen and heard.

There are an infinite amount of ways to view the world, so it’s time we start becoming more curious, rather than judgmental about someone else’s experience. Let’s try to lead with love, kindness and curiosity, because who knows what we might end up learning.

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