We so often focus on our differences. And sometimes, that’s a good thing. We can acknowledge, respect, and admire our differences. It’s unwise to ignore them. We dismiss others when we minimize or reject others’ experiences. We can learn so much from others. We learn a lot about ourselves, both in the context of a broader perspective and as a truth check of our character. How we approach, interact, and respond matters.
It’s also unwise to misuse the recognition of our differences. We might focus so much on the differences that we forget the ways in which we can relate. We hurt. We believe. We celebrate. We mourn. We lose. We connect. We learn. We doubt.
So, when that coworker frustrates you, consider what concerns you might have in common.
When the shoppers or cashiers at the store seem grumpy or impatient, consider what they might have happening in their lives.
When you spend time with family and get frustrated with someone’s expectations or insensitivities, consider how you can shift just slightly enough to interact with more grace, patience, courage, and wisdom.
We can relate…when we’re willing.