The glass, is it half full or half empty?
“She didn’t say hello to me, she must be a mean person”…or maybe she’s not. Maybe she is shy or maybe she has a thousand things on her mind.
“He barely participated in football practice today, he is so lazy”…or maybe he’s not. Maybe his doctor told him to sit out due to a heart condition or maybe he just lost his grandfather and is sad.
“John is horrible when presenting to our clients?!! He is a terrible employee!!”…or maybe John is not good a public speaking but is really good with numbers and is extremely analytical and should be considered for behind-the-scenes work and can whip up formulas on a spreadsheet and can balance the budget like a pro. He’s not such a terrible employee anymore, is he?
What do you see? Why do you see it? What makes your perception correct? Why isn’t the other point-of-view correct?
How we view the world and our experiences in it is referred to as a paradigm. We may have the same experiences, but how we view those experiences is dependent upon our own perception and our own life experiences. What if we consider that others may see the same situation differently than how we see them? What if we received more information or details about a situation that could paint a clearer or different picture? Might we be more understanding of each other’s feelings? Might we consider that we shouldn’t make assumptions but to realize that there may be “more to the story.” Might we consider the best in each other and not generalize, assume, pass judgment, condemn, criticize, etc.? What if the tables were turned…wouldn’t we want someone’s understanding past “what meets the eye?” We shouldn’t “judge a book by it’s cover”, right? But we do sometimes and don’t even realize it and this experience adds to our other misinterpreted experiences and so on and so forth.
Author and educator, Stephen Covey, who died in 2012, told the story of the “man on the subway” when giving his paradigm shift teachings. Another great educator said, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:12-14. Do you know Him? Do you know my Jesus? Let’s open our eyes and our hearts. Shift your paradigm to think more like Him.
At Eastern Christian, we pursue the character of Christ by following our Core Values:
- Seek Truth
- Serve Others
- Embrace Community
- Exhibit Compassion
- Develop Responsibility
- Strive for Excellence
To be at EC is to SHIFT…to remember to love others as Christ loves the Church.