Monday, June 18, 2007

Do We Really Understand

We are quick to pick out differences that support our belief in our uniqueness. It can be beliefs, social, economic, location, hair styles, clothes, toys and even a handshake. There is no end to the list. We can easily see that there differences between us and them.

When we see people through the filter of differences we can forget that they are more like us than they are different. Often we do not think about our similarities with others. We all feel sadness, joy, desire, and fear. What we share is our emotions.

When someone says they are sad or happy we nod our heads in knowledge and agreement that we understand. But do we? Our interpretations are based on all of our experiences; the combination which will be unique for each of us. 

So can we truly know what someone else is feeling or is it simply an approximation brought about through our interpretation of our own emotions.

Your thoughts?

6 conversations:

Comedy + said...

I think you can somewhat. Varying degrees of course, but somewhat. There are so many dynamics to each incident that it makes them unique but there has to be some that run along the same lines. Am I making sense here?

I am brain dead tonight and can't think this any further. Back to jury duty tomorrow...Sigh.

Peter Haslam said...

Yes Sandee they seem similar but not exact and we can make errors of degree and get surprised by the intensity some one else gives to the same criteria

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

i had a friend that lost a child. as people came through the line to offer her condolences so many would say to her "i know exactly how you feel". this upset her so much, she knew they meant well, but unless they lost a child, how could they possibly know? i always remembered that and tried to only say things that were true, like i am so sorry for your loss.

smiles, bee

Mimi Lenox said...

We do see through the filter of our own experiences but that can be powerful comfort for someone who needs an understanding ear.

Peter Haslam said...

Yes Bee i can see how that can happen I like your approach

Peter Haslam said...

Yes that would be true in the right circumstance Mimi thanks for your addition