Every now and then I come across a message which reminds me about a focus I have in life — understanding. Remembering to ask the question WHY. There’s a reason for the behavior in front of you — for the way someone is presenting to you. THE POWER OF WHY was created with that mindset as its focus. It’s this framework that reminds me I have a choice on how I respond to others — that I can choose to be kind, inquisitive and compassionate regardless of what I’m observing.
Everyone has a story.
Everyone is living in their own context.
So, the purpose of this particular blog post is to remind us of that message — seek to understand and be kind. When I saw a recent social media post quoting the late Robin Williams, it resonated with me and I wanted to share it with you.
It’s a personal goal of mine — some days I do really well — some days I’m not as successful. But I keep aiming for the target.
Think back to your K-12 school experience. Now, I want you to recall a specific example of a kindness given to you by a teacher in the building – something that resonated with you. I bet you can think of something and someone immediately — and I bet that you remember that person’s name. Teachers have those interactions with students every single day.
A teacher from my past that comes to mind was Ms. Bell — my Grade 10 English teacher. I had just moved from Toronto to Calgary and I didn’t know a soul. As I am not typically the most outgoing of personalities I must have looked like a deer in headlights. Ms. Bell took me aside one day and told me that I was to come to rehearsal next week for the school musical – Fiddler on the Roof. She wanted me in the chorus. She had no idea if could sing – heck, I barely even talked in class.
And for your information … yes, I can sing. In fact, I sing in many keys all at once. I consider it a rare talent.
As I get older I see more grey. Ya, ya, ya … the hair jokes .. I get it. Nice!
What I’m talking about are my observations that we don’t live in a binary world of ‘Yes or No’ , ‘Black or White’. We just don’t typically live in “All or Nothing” scenarios. Our world is a series of sliding position points along a continuum. It isn’t static, measured once and labeled. It is a complex, multi-dimensional, constantly evolving space.
Need proof? OK. Some examples that are right off the top of my head include:
Practice MAY make perfect
Physical aptitude in sports
Home repair abilities
The point being, we have some ability or knowledge in lots of areas — some are just more developed than others. And in many cases increased practice results in improvement.
So our world is a patchwork of grey! Different shades of ‘greyness’ which indicate our varying abilities.