Sunday, June 16, 2013

View of the World

My son and his friend are having trouble getting along.  Some suggested that they take a break from each other, but I think my little 7 year old and his friend behave more like an old married couple than friends who should be separated.  The boy's mother and I have had productive conversations about how their friendship models a more mature relationship and their constant bickering allows them the ability to learn to fight, make up and then resume their friendship. 

This weekend it occurred to me that the reason their friendship has this tension is because they view the world differently.  Both kids are great, funny and articulate.  One is passionate and reacts with his emotions.  He is bright-eyed, curious and he smiles the minute he sees you.  One is even-tempered, literal, a rule follower and constantly policing others. 

These two drastic views of the world cause them to irritate each other.  The boy's mother and I decided that in the coming weeks we will work with the boys to help them see each other's perspective and create some opportunities for them to be on the same team, do an activity together and simply have some fun.  

What if, as adults, we tried harder to think the same way?  When I am in conflict with others, I will think about their perspective, their world view.  Is this not compassion, kindness and even mindfulness?  What is your intention?  Does it conflict with mine?  Are we all here for the greater good?  

We all think we are right.  At what point, do I say, "I don't know" and "Can you help me?"  I want to work well with others.  I, too, was having some difficulties with a friend and it was frustrating.  I could not see my friend's perspective and nor could my friend see mine.  And then there was a shift.  Where we had been on opposite sides of the street, we were now walking together and it seems as though we now speak the same language.  

I am grateful for the ability to articulate my view of the world so that others can hear and for the ability to see theirs.  

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