My wonderful may not be yours

July 8, 2021

One of the most wonderful things in the world is being able to go out my door and ski for miles through woods and fields, just me alone with Mother Nature.

Or not. If you’re not me then that’s not one of the most wonderful things.

It took me a long time to figure that out. For years, I annoyed and frustrated my kids as they edged into adulthood—and most likely a lot of other people as well—by preaching from my soapbox about the right way of experiencing the world (i.e., my way). I had a passionate need to persuade others of my perspective. If you didn’t come around to seeing it my way, well then that’s your loss. And, by the way, it’s my four kids I have to thank in large part for helping me down off my soapbox. (Which they still ruthlessly do when I occasionally and unmindfully find myself up there again.)

It’s extremely liberating, I’ve found, to let go of the need to be right or the most enlightened one in a discussion. (My superiority complex was actually a manifestation of my inferiority complex, but that’s a whole other topic for another day.)

I can now share of my perfectly imperfect self—like I’m doing as I write this—without needing or expecting you to agree with me, or like what I’m saying. Now that I’ve come to understand how your perspectives and beliefs are the product of your unique nature (DNA) and nurture (life experiences), as are mine, I can no longer see mine as superior in any which way. They’re simply unavoidably different.

Our views of the world are wonderfully, healthfully, interestingly, and necessarily different. Out of difference and diversity comes problem-solving and innovation (when not hindered by superiority/inferiority complexes). The world needs this now more than ever before!

Considering that the Doomsday clock is at 100 seconds before midnight, there’s no time anymore for a “my way or the highway” attitude in the home, in the workplace, in government or anywhere in our global community. That attitude is the killer of collaboration and cooperation.

I don’t have to like or agree with your worldview, your politics, your religion, your lifestyle, your personality, your whatever. But I believe I am obligated to honour your uniqueness and find a way ahead together, focusing on our commonality of needs and wants, and utilizing our respective strengths and wisdom.

You don’t agree with this? You’re not keen on cross country skiing? Solitary recreation isn’t your thing? You hate the thought of living in the country? No matter. I bet, like me, you want a safe and healthy world for you and yours to live in. You want to be happy. You want to be respected. You want to love and be loved. What other commonalities might we find when we embrace our differences?

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