Has anyone ever been wrong? At least from their perspective, I highly doubt if anyone is willingly able to admit that. Our perception is a projection of what our ego wants, when we claim we are right or we know we put out the projection or challenge for someone to prove us wrong, if our case is strong we are able to reinforce our stand, we may even feel superior to the individual who was not able to justify his point of view in a convincing manner.
The older I get the more I see that nothing is really, black and white. The world is actually different shades of gray, but understanding different shades takes too much effort, so we like to put everything in a neat box. Our laziness drives our desire to not try to divulge deeper into things, take stands and be steadfast. Take for example the perception that eating meat is right or wrong, there is validity in both points of view, I don’t even think there is a 100% right answer, the right answer depends on what shade of gray you stand on.
After my last post few people congratulated me, it was almost like I joined there side of the club. The funny thing is I am totally not against meat, in fact my kids eat it, I don’t think that it is an issue I would force either way with anyone. Just a personal choice, I honestly can say I respect both perceptions with equal value.
Back to perception and the way we view things, its shaped a lot by our surroundings, our family and choice in friends. You rarely see two unlike minded people sitting together, if they have a choice they will find the people with similar views because it’s just easier that way. From my experience though the people who enrich your life are seldom the ones you agree with! When you get to see something from all sides, it almost makes you realize that even your stand is not perfect. When we start to accept imperfection we start to see the beauty in the details. The world of nature is not perfect, every tree does not go straight, every tree is unique, in nature its allowed, to have a different point of view is celebrated. In our world however shades are not celebrated, there are sayings we sort of want everyone to solidify there stand on things. We force our leaders to choose sides, at times we even force our friends. You are either with me or against me, stop sitting on the fence, are just some of the things we are constantly told.
Anytime someone tries to stray from the common accepted view they are automatically judged by others. America is known as a ‘melting pot’ and it certainly has been living up to its name. Depending on where you are, and your circle of friends you cannot stray from the norm. A Democrat cant be pro life, a Republican cant be pro choice. You either melt in or else face the consequences!
Seriously what a bunch of nonsense! When we look at the beauty of nature, the only reason we find it beautiful is its uniqueness, that every sunset, sunrise, beach, tree, mountain has its unique beauty. Why can’t we look at each other which such passion? Why can’t even those views we cannot tolerate be part of nature, be part of our experience? Have we become that selfish?
I have a variety of views, to which many may agree or not. Just to mention one I am pro same – sex marriage. So much so that I almost feel that Sikhism as one of the most young and progressive religions should set an example and have the first same sex anand karaj sanctioned by the Akal Takhat (aka Vatican of the Sikhs)*. It would be the first organized religion that would provide equal treatment to all.
The founders of this religion always took a stand against the ‘norm’ against oppression and bigotry in every form. They were proactive thinkers, not thinking in the box of what is accepted, but what is right. Human dignity was defended even when they did not agree with the person they were defending! What a unique concept that we have not been able to fully communicate with the world. Our founders were probably the only ones who laid down their lives for other faiths, they lived by example teaching us that injustice is the enemy, not the view, but the oppression of any view.
Yet today we fall into the same traps, being close minded not just to the world, but to each other. Rarely do we accept any viewpoint which is beyond our understanding. Rarely are we willing to respect even the opposite stand, and more rarely are we able to truly be open to change ourselves. The more closed off we get, the more dug in our stand, the greater we lose ourselves. You were not built to take stands, you were built to experience, and reflect on that experience, to learn, and grow.
The more differences that are noticed, you start to finding a very prevalent common ground. When discussing subjects with people of different cultures and faiths, sure there are vast differences in many things but there is also that very evident common ground, that gray area, where we can share a smile, and say hey we are not so different after all. Every tree has leaves, bark, branches, the same basic elements, even if they do not look alike, or grow the same way. When we start appreciating the gray life seems fine just as it is, people around us seem fine just as they are, we are not here to change anyone, we are here to do a bigger job, and that is to find ourselves.
* If you disagree or are offended, then feel free to comment your point of view!