I have realized more and more of late, so much of the world as we perceive it is viewed through our personal lens of experience. Some people are born into what I call small or narrow worlds, and stay there throughout their lives. Their comfort zone is small and rarely do they want to challenge its borders. They refuse to let in anything that conflicts with their belief set.
Others are born into bigger worlds, where their belief sets still remain strong but are more flexible to changing environments. They embrace challenges to the “norm” and opportunity to question the status quo. Their belief set leaves room to understand and accept more variations.
When these two worlds collide it can be ugly. These small world people tend judge harshly, expect others to fit in their strict boxes for the “norm” and are often hypocritical, because of the conflict of trying to fit a unique human spirit into the neat boxes of the perceived “norm.”
Bigger world people, being imperfect humans as well, struggle with accepting these small world people in their lives, the narrow minded trying to push them and shape them into something they are not. The two groups often wind up turning their backs on each other.
I would use for example a very old man set in his ways, feels confidant he knows how to live a good life and he should be respected and listened to. Put him in a room with a very young man, free spirited, tattooed, pierced, and ready to challenge the world. The old man will see a foolish boy screwing up his life with his radical self expression, and the boy will see a stubborn old man, who sees nothing of the changing world and who he wants to hear nothing from.
In actuality, they could potentially have so much to learn from each other. If for a minute they could look at the world through another lens. It's easy to lose sight of what we lose when we turn our backs, experience, relationships, and growth.
This is something I struggle with regularly. I have no desire, or room in my life for those that judge harshly, or stubbornly cling to the idea that their way is the only way. Somewhere in my mind I know I should learn from them, but sometimes it’s easier to just turn away. Ironically I judge the judgers.
This reflection has come from a recent negative interaction with someone close to me. In a way I should not have been surprised, looking at the big picture I realize this persons reaction was on par for the lens through which they view the world. It's always good to remember this to put things in perspective. This can help you to forgive or let go. You have your lens to view the world and they have theirs, sometimes this will mean walking away.