In these blogs I post I frequently talk about learning, wisdom, and growing up. Well one thing that is certain is, as we age the way we view things tends to change. Our thought patterns start to shift and morph into a way of thinking that may be completely foreign to the ways of thinking that we grew up with. In fact, the way we view the world changes many times throughout a our lifetimes, and oftentimes shifts without us even noticing.
One way this change takes place is evident in when we go from being a restless child with ample energy that cannot sit still and enjoy just one thing for more than 10 minutes to becoming a much calmer “adult” that takes joy in watching a sunset or sitting at the beach and just listening to the waves roll in. We could claim that it’s just our energy being depleted as we grow, or we could think that we are just spending more of our energy enjoying what’s around us, as opposed to looking for things to enjoy (the exploring restless youth).
Different ways of viewing the world don’t just come with age and learning, but can be seen just from person to person. Yes, it doesn’t take Einstein to come to the revelation that different people see the world differently, however it’s exactly how differently we view the same things that is truly fascinating. For example, let us take a “normal” person and compare how they perceive a scene to how a person with ADHD perceives that scene to how a person with Autism perceives that same scene. It’s amazing how each of these people will tell a completely different story about what they saw. In fact, the stories may be so different that they might argue with each other about it, but none of these peoples perceptions are wrong just different.
It’s funny to think about how obsessive we people are with the idea of “normal” and perceiving something correctly when truth be told, normal is just a sociologically derived term that really doesn’t exist. There is no such thing as “normal”, and however someone perceives something is A correct way to perceive it. Think of how many different ways people perceive a piece of artwork. Sure the artist may have had an intended meaning, but that doesn’t mean the other meanings aren’t hidden in there. After all, how well does the artist know their subconscious?? Just ask Freud what he thinks!!
It is certainly understandable as to why people try so hard to be “normal” and can react so differently when someone is or does things differently, and that is because we seek to be understood. We seek to have someone to talk to who “gets us” but it’s important not to lose ourselves in the process. So the next time you see someone who does things in a “weird” or funny way, instead of being afraid by their differences, just honor and appreciate their way of doing things. Maybe even seek to understand why. It might turn out they weren’t so different after all.
This means the next time your grandpa just want s to sit and watch the sunset, and you can’t understand why Go ahead and try, maybe ask him what he likes about it!