Seventy Three: Being and Understanding

“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.”  – Albert Einstein

Ask yourself this: Do you need to be something to understand something? And if you can’t understand that something or someone, can you still reach a point of empathy and connection?

I’m trying to figure out just how much I need to share in common with someone for me to be able to understand him/her and connect. Are there cleavage points where my philosophies or ways of living are just too different from someone else’s for me to be able to communicate with that person?

I live in a liberal city in a democratic corner of the world, so I bump into others who espouse those ideas. It has been a long time since I’ve delved into a longer traveling adventure abroad so I’m not coming across many people who have inherently different upbringings, morals, or ideas. And that kinda sucks.

For some reason, I’ve always been a bit of a devil’s advocate. I like to debate and discuss in small groups and hear about what fires people up in life. As I get older, I see that it’s not always about the conflict. There are many identity points for people that they don’t want to fight about with others. They just want to have the space and freedom to be and live their truth. Live and let live.

Why, then, is it so hard for people to live and let live? When someone chooses the opposite of what we’ve chosen, why do we knock down their choice or why do they knock down ours? Are we all so insecure that these differences are an attack on how we live?

I am far from innocent in this endless game. I find myself shit-talking about others all too often, and what I’m really doing is validating my own choices as the most sound and sane ones. I would not go so far as to say that I am either  completely sound or sane, so I know that I need to do some work in this area.

Are you judgmental of others? If you answered no, are you getting close enough to others to see the personal decisions they’ve made for themselves in life?



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