Whenever we hear a life story packed with wisdom, our reaction oscillates between two extremes. Either we go—oh man, this is so true; I can completely relate to this. Or, we say—there is no way this can be true; there is this one instance in my life that negates this story.
We take the story literally. We either agree or disagree wholesomely; there is no middle ground. Check social media. People go bonkers +1ing a post or say go to hell; there are no nuanced positions.
The right way to assimilate life stories is not to take them literally but to understand the essence of what the person is saying. Think of different episodes in our lives where the wisdom imparted could have made a difference.
We should not dismiss insights with which we disagree. We should get curious, reflect, and introspect about what this person sees that we are missing.
Perspectives we agree with only re-confirm our position. Perspectives we disagree with are an opportunity to update our beliefs.
Photo by Jose Manuel Gonzalez Lupiañez Photography.