Lenses & Labels: An Analogy For Living
Everyday, we wake up and before we open our eyes, we feel around frantically on our nightstand trying to find our glasses. We finally grasp the familiar shape of our “life savers”, those beloved spectacles without which we would see hardly anything. Without hesitation, we slide our specs on and open our eyes…our vision restored. We get up and get started with our day, having donned lenses that shape how we see what we see. These lenses help us see the world and craft our own TRUTH about it.
By breakfast time an hour or so later, we are so caught up with “doing stuff” that we forget that we are actually wearing glasses that impacted our vision. We metaphorically become one with the glasses, almost eliminating any separation between reality and what we see through our lenses. We then apply or reconfirm labels that are influenced by our perspective. What a few minutes ago was OUR INDIVIDUAL TRUTH quickly becomes THE DEFINITIVE TRUTH.
Unfortunately, millions of other people all over the world wake up and do the same thing—they scrambled to grab their glasses, put them on, soon lose awareness of the fact that they are wearing these vision-altering gadgets, and proceed as though THEIR TRUTH is THE TRUTH.
This is certainly a recipe for mistrust, misunderstanding and misperceived motives. If everyone perceives their view to be THE TRUTH, then why would they extend understanding to others who are clearly operating on sub-optimal information or beliefs? Instead, equipped with THE TRUTH, we tend to operate from a place of self-centeredness, blindly unaware of the perspectives of others. This, sadly, is the source of many conflicts.
Imagine if we individually paused ever so often to take off our glasses and attempt to see the world through the lens of someone else. What if we chose to see past the labels we applied and actually practice empathy? Do you know how many conflicts could be avoided, how many marriages saved, how many law suits avoided, how many wars circumvented?
Choose to understand the perspective of another person today! Explore their worldview and determine what influences it! Find out their prescription! And then share yours!