The Art of Meaningful Living – 11: Stop being right and start understanding

Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly upon our point of view.

“Right” is different for each person depending on his life experiences and how those make him view the world. What is right for you may be wrong for somebody else. No two people see anything exactly the same way.

Some judgments are simple; like crossing the street when the green signal flashes and not crossing when the red signal flashes.

Some judgments are not simple; like what is right in religion, love, marriage, bringing your kids, etc. We all have judgmental thoughts. That is natural. What we need to know is what to do when these arise.

The first thing is not to immediately believe or buy them. Use the skills of mind management- notice, pause and reflect to see what judgments you are having, but do not project them to the other person as being the right ones. Rather curiously enquire what his views are. These questions may help:

  • How did you come to that decision?
  • What do you like about that?
  • Will you share your thoughts on that?
  • How do you feel about it?

Understanding someone else’s point of view does not mean you agree with them. But it helps you understand where they come from and why? That leads to more effective relationships, improves your quality of life and makes life more meaningful.