Monday Musings for 1.25.21
There is a famous sketch (attached below) that is the face of either a young or an old woman, depending on how you see her. Most people see one or the other. It takes some effort to be able to see both.
Kind of like the face of Donald Trump. Some of you look at him and see a hateful narcissist who never should have been elected president and nearly destroyed our country. Some of you look at him and see a courageous leader who was wrongly maligned and did great things for our country. Can any of you see both?
This is not going to be about Donald Trump. You can relax. This is about the millions of people (at least 74 million) who don’t see him the way you do. Are you able to see what they see?
One of my favorite TED Talks is by Kathryn Schulz. It’s called “On Being Wrong.” She says that when people disagree with us on something we believe passionately, we typically conclude one of three things:
1) They are uninformed.
2) They are not very smart.
3) They are evil.
Are you really sure you feel that way about your good friend who happens to disagree with you politically?
I am not saying that you are wrong and they are right. Nor am I saying that truth is subjective and it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you are sincere. What I am saying is that making the effort to see the world the way those who disagree with us see it is a worthwhile endeavor. And one that far too few of us care to take on. It’s one of Stephen Covey’s seven habits: “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”
There are some very smart, very good people who have reached conclusions that are the opposite of yours. They may be wrong. You may be wrong. You probably won’t convince them. They probably won’t convince you. But I’m pretty sure you can learn a few things from them. And they can learn a few things from you. And maybe you can even be friends.
How do we know it when we are wrong? Is there something inside that can give us some clue? Katharyn Schulz asks an interesting question, “When you are wrong, how do you feel?” The answer: “Exactly the same way you feel when you are right.”
Think about it.