You Think Differently Than Others

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The first and most provable difference between you and everyone else on the planet is that no one is constructed like you. Your body is different from anyone who has ever lived or will ever live – different on the inside and out.

No person on earth comprehends things like you do. No one constructs sentences like you do or reacts to these words the way you do. You have your own absolutely unique way of comprehending people, places, things, words, and events.

6. Chapter 2

Let me give you an example: If you hear a baby cry your reaction will depend completely on whether or not you are the mother of the baby or just someone passing by. A mother will have a sense of urgency and take action while a passer-by will likely just keep walking.

Here’s why: everyone sees things from a different perspective, endows things with different meanings, and assigns different values to every person and thing they encounter. Let’s look at each of those individually.

Perspective: You think differently than others because of your unique perspective. No one sees things precisely from the same point-of-view that you do. The most common example of this is blind men feeling different parts of an elephant. Each one believes his description is correct and the others wrong. Yet, all are correct and all are wrong. It’s a matter of perspective.

Meaning: You think differently from others because you assign your own unique meaning to things. In any town square in the world, the appeara

nce of a cross (the symbol of Christianity), or a Star of David (the symbol of Judaism), or a crescent moon (the symbol of Islam), would each cause a totally different reaction from the individuals who view them because of the varying meanings they assign to each icon.

Values: You think differently because your values are different. What you see or experience becomes good or bad, right or wrong, important or unimportant, repulsive or attractive, dangerous or safe, humorous or boring, etc. based on your values that flow from your morals, religion, customs, ethnicity, social class, etc.

Does this mean that you have your truth and I have my truth? Certainly not! You can believe the earth is flat or that Elvis is still alive if you want to – that doesn’t make it true. You can “feel” that something is real but feelings don’t authenticate anything except feelings. Even seeing something doesn’t make it true. Ask any three eyewitnesses to a car accident to tell you what happened and each of their stories will differ to some degree, yet there is only one accurate and complete narrative of what happened.

So when it comes to thinking, your thoughts are yours and your perception is unique to you. So it is best to test your judgment with objective facts, compare meanings and values with reality, and keep an open mind to the possibility of misperception. And most important, remember the human tendency is to always see things your way.

 

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