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Saturday, August 27, 2011

The View from in Here

     All of us are prisoners of our own minds.  Every person we meet, every fact we learn, every dream we have filters through our minds.  Over the years, this reality becomes so ingrained in us, we forget that it is only one version of reality and that everyone else has a totally unique version of reality.
     Sometimes we judge everyone else by our own experiences.  We are proud of what we have accomplished, and think everyone else should follow the same path to success.  We forget that our reality is just that, "our" reality.  It is not "their" reality.
     Lately I am hearing many people repeating the words, "If I can do it, anyone can do it."  These words are generally meant to be kind.  They are supposed to be words of encouragement, words to motivate us to overcome the obstacles in our way, but they are harmful words.  It comes with a note of superiority.  If you do this, you, too, can be as great as I am.
      These words also assume you have the same reality as the person speaking.  This is never the case.  Even siblings come with a unique view of life, skills, interests, and abilities.  These words cause guilt and frustration because it is so easy for everyone else, but is not easy for us.
     Whether the words are used to explain why immigrants should only speak English, or why you shouldn't "allow" yourself to be sick, or explain why people are victims of abuse, or why depression is a guilty pleasure or any of the other millions of ways we use these words, they are hurtful.  Even when you say them with kindness.  The next time you hear yourself saying these words, stop.  Breathe for a moment.  Come to a place of empathy without judgement.  It will mean the world to them.  If you listen long enough to their reality, it may change your view from in here.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. This is a lesson to learn. I never thought of those words in these terms. Thank you for sharing this...take care.