Only once in my life did I experience what life may be like for someone who could not see. I was asked to attend a 4 hour board of director’s meeting for a trade association I am involved with by speaker phone.
Who talked the most and dominated the conversation was a surprising perception that I gained from not being in the room to see who was talking. You lose track of some things when physically present at a meeting that become quite obvious when you’re not.
I’m pretty sure this happens to me more than I think when I am physically present. None of us can pay attention to everything. Our attention is limited. Our focus is distracted. Our powers of observation are severely crippled because we rush to do so much in our day.
In physics we are taught that for every action there is a reaction. One difficulty of life is that many times people hide their reactions from us. With respect to what we said, or what we have done. Things, many times, just remain hidden. We never get the feedback we need to see and hear what others are thinking.
We assume by being present that we are aware. That human connection will always provide feedback. Sometimes other people’s silence contributes to our blindness. Sometimes its our actual physical presence combined with our lack of attention to details. Other times we create our own blindness that keeps us from seeing what is true when it comes to our actions.
Sometimes we disregard context or responsibilities to pursue our passion or zeal at the expense of others. At times we just assume that our actions have had the effect we have intended them to have. It’s possible that “yesterday” we simply didn’t pay attention when we were physically present. And of course, we can blame others by saying that they “never told me” anything different to help correct or re-center me.
What happens when we become blind in this manner? We can get easily side tracked down a road we never intended on travelling or we get frustrated when things and people around us seem to be out of step with what we expect of them or want of them.
How can we change this? By being the first to act differently, with respect, when deciding how and what we will share in the way of honest feedback when we are present in another person’s life. We should also “circle back” and check to see if what we said was truly heard and whether the direction or intent of our conversation or actions truly are helpful and additive in either our life or those around us.
Help make all of our lives better, more engaged, and more fulfilling by trying. We owe this to each other because we are both human.