Without thinking, I put my blinkers on and began to pull over.
“What are you doing?” my passenger asked.
“Going to see if they need help,” I responded.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” they replied.
“Why?” I asked, sincerely confused.
What they said next has stuck with me since. It has been a question I ask myself in every interaction.
“Have you seen the world through my eyes?”
This question rocked me. The short answer is I had not.
The longer answer is that while I perceive myself to be an empathetic person, I had not formally considered this question as part of a framework. I had not included this question in my worldview.
In this specific example, my friend, who is a smaller woman, saw a potential physical threat to her safety in the form of stopping to assist another man. In this same scenario, I – through socialization and physicality (is that the right word?) – did not even pause to consider that perspective.
Have you seen the world through my eyes?
Life is not a zero sum transaction.
Life is an interactive experience.
If you want to make a change or influence people in a positive way, you have to consider their perspective and the way the see the world around them.
If you fail to consider their perspective, you will encounter resistance and anger.
Resistance will kill your change fast. It’ll kill the change before your it even gets lift off. Anger will kill it even faster and promotes backlash immediately.
Let us make a conscious effort to see someone else’s perspective before you judge them, whether you are the change agent or the person being asked to make a change.