Sunday, February 14, 2010

Reflection


Our minds see and hear what our past experience has trained us to expect. Naturally, there are blanks in each individual experience, which is tied to our place of birth, family, schooling and the myriad of people who have influenced us in large or small ways. The mailman and the family dentist have caused us to think a certain way about all mailmen and dentists. My mailman and my dentist (each very competent at his job) don't represent all mailmen and dentists in the world; they're individuals. Generalizations about a group may contain accuracies, but they don't allow for individuality. If we look into the proverbial mirror, we may notice blanks in our experience, or blind spots, which can hinder us from seeing another person's point of view.

Blind spots often manifest as anger, jealousy, resentment, fear of the unknown. They are why we feel threatened by someone voicing an opposing opinion, or even by the person in the next car trying to merge into traffic in front of us. Awareness of these blind spots is a good place to start. That old adage "you get what you give" hints that we should put aside the ego to look, listen, and really connect with those around us. That human connection, filling in the blanks, the ability to feel empathy or sympathy for our fellow humans, makes us better neighbors, partners, parents and people. That reflection in the mirror is you . . . and every connection you make.

William M. Thackeray: Quotes: Reflection
"The world is a looking glass and gives back to every man the reflection of his own face."




1 comment:

Jennyablue said...

Your post is a fine reminder to be weary of stereotypes to define our connections with others. The golden rule, rules. Peace and love can be our purpose.

What is our purpose?

...to amuse and be amused
to be kind, loving and free in thought
to bring peace to a stranger and familiar alike
to work, play and create.

Yes? I think so.

Thank you Lainey! ox