I woke up in Wichita today to below freezing temperatures. The kind of cold where unfurling yourself from the comforter is actually painful! Even my dogs wouldn't go outside without bribery. However, this afternoon I landed in Dallas for a Franklin Covey "Leader in Me" conference. Even though I am no stranger to rush hour traffic, I took my life in my hands walking to a nearby restaurant -- only a four minute walk, but I truly wondered if I was going to make it in one piece. I don't think pedestrians are "a thing" around here, not to mention this silly notion of them having "the right of way."
I ate at a lovely Mediterranean Grill where I asked to sit outside. Although there were several tables filled with patrons, I was the only one enjoying the patio. Before my food arrived, the waiter offered to move me inside because it was "so cold." Seriously -- I checked the temperature = 76 degrees! No way! I was loving it. But this was my unique experience. Everyone else was looking at me as the crazy one, sitting outside on this somewhat overcast, "chilly" evening. Simultaneously, I was wondering what was wrong with all of them!
It just reminded me that sometimes this is how we go through life. We have our unique views, our history of experiences -- and others have a completely different life background -- their perspective on topics (much more important than the weather) may be polar opposite of our own. Or, may I be so bold to say, "wrong" (according to our view). Nonetheless, who are we to judge when we know nothing of their history? And yet we do -- we all do (me included). It's just natural for our history to be "the default." We have to purposefully work to shift our personal perspective to the side in order to make room for others. However, once we do, it broaden's our world -- not to mention, deepens our relationships as we actively work to understand another person.
We are teaching Habit #5 this month to our little ones at school = Seek first to understand, then to be understood. My mom used to say, "God gave you two ears and only one mouth for a reason. Listen!" All relationships are enhanced by this amazing thing called listening! Someday, when I grow up, I will remember this wisdom BEFORE I judge everyone else for not being just like me!
By the way -- the $10 Uber back to the hotel was totally worth it!
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Alyssa Boyer wife, mother, therapist, and educator grew up in Los Angeles, now living in Wichita, KS.