Hope you all liked the first edition of our magazine. In this second edition, I have brought to you an interesting topic about which we all are aware of but we choose to ignore it – Living with differences. So, let’s start and talk about sun and water. Yes – How two very different entities exist together.
How can we Co-exist with Differences
One thing I have realized in the course of living till today is that there is no one like you. You cannot expect anyone to be born with same emotions and thinking process as yours. No matter how close you are with someone, you are bound to have differences as we all see and perceive things differently.
Let’s do one small exercise – Choose a time when you are free for some time and close your eyes for a minute or two. Now, recall at least four people randomly from your life (chances are that you will recall people closest to you). Make a note of those people and compare who among those is similar to you. You will be surprised to see that not even your spouse or kids are similar to you in terms of behavior or emotions.
Is having difference of opinion bad
Having a different opinion is good for stimulating your senses and learn new things about already existing fact before you. As human beings, we are habitual of searching for a comfort zone and living in it until any travesty falls on us and we are forced to leave the comfort zone and search for another one. Same can be said about our minds and our well settled thoughts resting in it. We become so comfortable with our thoughts and opinions that any contradiction to it makes us uncomfortable. But once we are through with our initial discomfort, we arrive in a position to appreciate or at least understand a different angle to our deeply set opinion.
This stage is crucial and only people who are willing to learn more and accept differences of opinion as a way of life understand the beauty of difference or diversity. Once you become more receptive of other people’s point of view, you will start realizing how a simple fact can be presented in different ways and how a simple sentence can be construed in different ways. Understanding a difference in opinion will make you understand that many a times, there could be many roads that led to your conclusion and not necessarily the road you took to reach there.
Should we be receptive of other people opinions blindly
Now that we are talking about understanding other person’s opinion, it certainly doesn’t mean we need to let information come from all sources and clog our mind.
Having a different opinion or understanding someone’s opinion that is different from yours opens up your mind. It improves your learning and makes you a well-received person. However, it’s not necessary to agree with everyone’s point of view but giving a patient ear would make all the difference. Sometimes, people just want to be heard out and this act of simple kindness can make a world of difference to someone’s life.
But sometimes people come upon you with their ideas or opinions more aggressively. This could lead to an ugly situation if you get into a useless battle of proving yourself right. And this is where your skills as a learned and reasonable person come to play. Would you be surprised to know that often people with such qualities are considered suitable for leadership roles or they emerge as natural leaders. It’s because for the fact that people in the leadership roles are good listeners and receptive of other person’s ideas. However, at the same time they are good at filtering what should enter their minds and what should be discarded after first hearing.
How to live with differences around you
In today’s world where social media has given a platform to hordes of people to give their opinions, you are bombarded with personal opinions at the speed of light. With this kind of deluge, it is important to not to get overwhelmed with others’ opinions and keep your emotional sanity in check.
- The art of filtering – Not all opinions are to be taken inside your brain for residence. You should learn to filter which information is to be heard and discarded and which is to be processed and entered into your mind.
- Not every debate is to be won – Differences of opinions coming from different people can lead to lengthy and arduous discussions and debates which often serve no purpose as you simply can never win an argument with a person having a strong opinion.
- Hear and let go – We are living in this fast-changing world where scores of people keep posting their opinions on social media, you will do good to yourself if you just hear or read and let go of the information and not get too involved with any of it.
- Respect – As Mr. Nelson Mandela once said, “You can have a vast difference of opinion with someone but that never justifies disrespect.” Always maintain the air of respect even if you do not agree with someone’s opinion.
- Don’t be rigid – Everyone is entitled to their opinions but we should not be rigid to disregard someone’s point of view in wake of our prejudice or rigidity especially if their opinion is backed with a fact. Our mind is enormous and can hold so much.
A Quote to End With…
We all have two lives. The second one starts when we realize we only have one – Tom Hiddleston