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  • Writer's pictureTed Bradshaw

Something to think about, something to do



The idea


We experience the world as if we are seeing it as it is, almost as if our eyes are windows, and we are looking out at everything. Actually, it works almost entirely the other way around.

 

Brains have so much information to process at any given time, that they are constantly seeking out the most important information and actively ignoring or making guesses about the rest. Also, a functional brain is also supposed to learn from experience. If you touch something and it burns, it’s helpful if your brain is on the lookout for similar things in the future, so you can avoid being burned again.

 

Let's take the example of dogs.

 

If you have been bitten by a dog, it is likely you will see dogs as potentially dangerous and you will be wary of them. If you have always had dogs in the house and have memories full of love and warmth, it is likely that you will have a very different experience when a dog walks into the room. It's not that one person is a weirdo and one person isn't, it's simply that each person has had different experiences.

 

No two people experience the world in exactly the same way, because no two people have had exactly the same experiences.

 

When you understand that you don’t see the world as it is, but instead that you see the world in a way that is affected by your experiences, it can do two things:

 

Better understanding

 

You can understand that perhaps when you have a reaction to something that nobody else seems bothered by, it might not be because you are weird or strange, it might be that you have had different experiences.

 

Better communication

 

When you disagree with someone important to you, you might be able to be curious about the way they see the issue, rather than assuming that they are just being difficult.



 

Something to think about


If there was one thing you wish other people could understand about your perspective or your experience of the world, what would it be?

 

Whose experience of the world and perspective do you wish you understood a little bit better?


Something to do


Try naming your thoughts on things as views, perspective or opinion (rather than fact) and inviting someone else to describe their perspective too:

 

“I have a bit of a reaction to this because the way I see it is…”

 

“I get the impression you see it differently to me and I would really love to understand how you see it, would you mind sharing your thoughts with me?”


Thanks for reading! Until next week,


Ted


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