Everything I have discussed in this chapter so far has been alluding to one thing. Your reality as you know it is not the same reality as the other 7 billion people you share this world with. Not only are you unique in the way you look physically, you are also unique within the way you perceive reality. This is an absolute beautiful truth with one main floor. Most of us believe that others see reality the same way we do.
A difference of opinion is not always due to education or knowledge. Instead it could be a fundamental belief ingrained into our psyche by a heightened experience we had as a child. And from there we began creating an identity for ourselves around a certain belief system. Some obvious beliefs revolve around religion, government and social status within society. Yet many of these beliefs are a lot more personal and have to do with our values within friendships, relationships and our overall enjoyment in life.
Once we comprehend that others have different belief systems due to circumstance, we can become less judgemental of others, and more understanding of the fact that their reality is theirs as much as our reality is ours.
If you lived another person’s life and had their experiences you would believe the same things they do. You would make the same mistakes, have their morals and values, and you would not resemble the person you are today in any form. Your parents and teachers would be the same as theirs, and your experiences which created their perception would not differ with you at the driver’s seat. The morals and values you might hold so tight to your current existence will never adapt to this other persons reality. Why? Because your morals and values were not something you were born with, they developed through your life experiences. Therefore it is useless to say to another person that their belief system is wrong, as you yourself would have made the same choices in life as they did if you grew up in their reality.
I am not suggesting that we shouldn’t teach or educate others, though I am saying that we need to find compassion, even for some of the most evil of those in society. Hate fuels more hate. Compassion displays understanding. And this is where the true benefit of this knowledge lays. Rather than being frustrated or angry at others who think or act differently from us, we have the ability to choose acceptance. This acceptance includes the knowledge and understanding that others see this world differently, and that their morals and values vary from our own.
Personal conflict can come from the ego. Once the notion of ‘I am right’ and/or ‘you are wrong’ comes into the equation there is no compassion or understanding left. Unless proof is undeniable (such as being proved by science) then you simply are having a discussion based on opinion. Even if you have seen the proof for yourself whilst the other person has not, you can’t blame the other person for not taking your words as fact. In their reality, from their perception, they have heard you say you have proof, though they have not seen it. In this case the direction of this discussion should not conclude with one person acting smarter than the other, nor holding themselves on a pedestal. This would be just inflating the ego. The answer lay’s with the understanding of the other person’s lack of information, and educating them by giving them the tools to find the answer for themselves. Whether or not they choose to take that path is now in their hands.