Last week there was an uproar on the Internet as many of us on Facebook and Twitter and through text messages became consumed by “the dress.”
It was a simple thing really, a picture of a white and gold dress.
What? You saw something else? Blue and black maybe?
Soon after the pic appeared the cyber trash talk began. “Are you CRAZY? That is gold!” said a post.
“Am I crazy?” said another, “The dress just changed while I was looking at it.”
“I KNOW it’s blue and black, I don’t know what the rest of YOU are looking at,” from another.
But this isn’t about the picture we saw. It’s about what we believed we saw.
Looking at the Same Thing Differently
We each saw a single representation of the same dress. Only many of us saw it differently. It wasn’t WRONG. Those who saw the gold were really seeing it. It had everything to do with the way the photo was taken and how our eyes adjust.
But, many were willing to battle over their vision of right. Mostly it was good-natured –until it wasn’t. Until those who saw it one way became adamant and sure and began trying to talk the others into seeing it that way too.
We live so much of our lives like this, in absolutes. We see the world in hues of rights and wrongs. And this, well, is wrong.
Because when we line up on a side, we get only one view and then, we get a little judgy.
We see something or read something or hear something and we KNOW it to be true in our lives, so we want it to be true for everybody.
Get Curious, Not Judgy
Instead of being curious and excited that others view things differently, we try to talk them into seeing it our way. Instead of growing and learning about new possibilities we hunker down in our own views and FREAK when others start talking crazy about something that can’t possibly be true — until it is.
If we are nice about it, we’ll cajole a bit, or quietly nod our heads, ‘oh, now I see, she’s one of those’ we say to ourselves before trying to convince them to think more like us. Then we may just sidle over to self-righteousness and condemnation. Often times, we are willing to argue and fight. When all along, staying curious and connected is really the power position.
I’m all for declared values and views. We’ve got a set of standards in this family. I have certain beliefs that I live by. I’ve been known to pick a fight now and again over something I believe in, shake my head in wonderment at some of the different ideas out there. But still, it’s pretty clear, that I don’t get to force YOU to live by my rules. I might want to, sure, it might sometimes FEEL better for me if you did things my way, but truth is you do not need to live by my standards to be successful in this world. And, my life would be pretty narrow and limiting if I thought you did.
Most days, when you bring a casserole to the party of chips and dips, I’m going to get curious and take a bite, and ask about the recipe and see what I can learn, because maybe this concoction will be the best thing I have ever tasted. And most days, I’m going to reserve the right to change my mind when you show me a better way.
Looking at Things a Bit Different
Now, d0n’t get nervous here. You DO NOT have to change your mind just to see a different perspective.
But, here’s the thing: when you do open yourself up to different ideas, your view might just shift a teeny bit. And that little bit might be the big difference. The new insight. Innovative product. Man of your dreams. Deeper friendship. Cure.
We are dynamic, fluid, changing beings (like it or not). There are few rights and wrongs in the world and when you can recognize that, you let light in a little more light. And only then can you see all the colors.