“Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.”
– Albert Einstein
There are several sides to every story. People perceive every scene differently. Take for example, a group of students in a lecture. Compare their notes at the end and you could several versions of notes that may cross paths on some points, but are highly likely to be very different.
Each person is unique and creative and we should learn to value that as we do life.
There are two key steps to understanding; seeking and gaining.
Seeking is like research. It requires empathy, listening, and observation skills used in unison. Observing a situation will not provide all the details. Listening to the participants increases understanding of an event. Using empathy throughout the process allows us to connect with people in a powerful way bringing us to the next step of gaining understanding.
Gaining understanding can go to varying depths. Depending on the situation and the starting knowledge base, different levels of understanding may need to be achieved. Most people are happy to get to that first ‘Ah-ha’ moment and move on. However, true understanding needs to go much deeper than that initial moment.
People engage in conflict nearly every day. The world is getting smaller and more connected causing different cultures to engage with one another. As cultural engagement increases try to understand new ways of thinking and doing life. Not every other way to do something is wrong, it may just be different. Different groups could all have a similar goal, outworking different routes to achieve that goal.
Peacefully seeking understanding in the middle of all this will help us to navigate life more successfully; controlling our stress levels. And helping us to work alongside of people that may be radically different every day.
I’ve lived the past three years in the midst of many culture groups trying to work together. At times it’s been messy, but the moments people willingly learn about each other as they work together are pure gold.
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