Continuing the conversation from the last post about dealing with differences in relationship and attempting to find unity in diversity…
This example helps me when I find myself in situations with people who see things differently than I do.
If a friend and I were standing on different sides of the corner of a building, even if we could see each other, we would not necessarily be able to see all of the same things. For example, if I could see a tree that my friend couldn’t see from where she is standing, I would not get frustrated that she cannot see the tree. I would simply accept that positionally we are not seeing the same things.
There is often a tendency to place a value judgment on differences of perspective. However, I am not better than my friend or more enlightened because I see the tree, I am just standing in a different place.
Reading Ed Cyzewski’s new book, Coffeehouse Theology, helped me to realize that the tendency toward black and white thinking, the need to declare something either right or wrong, to get everyone on the same page is symptomatic of the influence of modernism in which most of us were raised. I will be reviewing Ed’s book soon. It is now availabe to order here.
It is helpful to remind myself that if someone has a different perspective, it is because they are not standing where I am standing. This keeps me from putting unrealistic expectations on them, gives me a better opportunity for unity, and reminds me that I need to listen to other perspectives in order to learn of the things that I cannot see from where I stand.
“Where we stand determines what we see.”