We See Things As We Are

2009 June 24
tags: ,
by Grace Boyle

“We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are.” Anais Nin

It’s hard to find objective ground.

I struggle with this thought frequently.

My thought patterns, beliefs, interests, love and decision making skills differs from yours, hers, and his.

I see creative expression. You see garbage. I see catastrophe. You see political growth.

Remember, what you see may be entirely different than what your friend sees. The direct and personal reflection “as we are” is like a mirror, projecting and predicting. Understanding this might help us judge a little less, forgive a little easier and remember to listen more to those who aren’t, as you are.

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  • http://www.lifewithoutpants.com Matthew

    I've written about this subject before – the idea of 'demonization' – that people are afraid of what they don't understand/don't accept. Without really 'getting into it' here – take a look at the situation with rights (or lack there of) for gay couples. People are PASSIONATLEY against gay rights for the simple fact that they don't accept it, they don't understand how someone could be in love with someone of the same sex. From a religious perspective, you have an argument to be 'against' it – but from a legal 'equal rights' perspective, there is no substantive argument to be had other than people think it's wrong. The same example can be made of African Americans, women, etc – All groups that had to EARN equal rights.

    Ok, I'm stepping off the pedestal – your post, while short and concise, really got me thinking. If we took the time to take a step back and become more understanding and accepting of others, the world would be exponentially better off.

  • http://www.owlsparks.com/ Carlos Miceli

    There's no right or wrong. There's no good or bad.
    There are only visions of the world.
    This is the true secret and obstacle behind conflict. It's a lot easier to argue than to find common ground.

    Loved your short posts as well Grace! Heck, this whole blog is awesome…

  • http://blog.rachaelstott.com/ Rachael Stott

    Grace you have a funny way of summing up the very point I am struggling with. I have just started and deleated 4 drafts of a blog discussing this idea and how it can lead to non-judgement.

    It is often much easier said than done, to let go of your judgements and step aside your (seemingly) natural emotions & meet someone where they are at, regardless of where that may be. If we do manage to make that leap remarkable things happen.

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Matt I liked your pedestal! I suppose I didn't mention fear is born of duality or that people are afraid of what they don't understand, because I cut those pieces out and went straight to the issue of understanding what the other person has to say/think, just because. We will always disagree, but understanding their thoughts and ideas are different for a reason and most likely, very valid to them. Thanks, Matt!

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Carlos I like your point that it is a lot easier to argue than find a common ground. It seems like more effort, but it really may not be. Great thoughts as always and thanks for the short post love :)

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Rachael Believe me, I wrote a sentence. Delete. Wrote a new sentence. Delete. I then decided (Carlos is usually inspiration for this) that short was better and I wanted to be concise and to the point. You're right about making the leap, remarkable things really will happen. I constantly am struggling with this, but make an effort each time I meet someone new because I know how important is can be for both of us.

  • http://www.opheliaswebb.com opheliaswebb

    As my high school human nature once posed us a question, are there ever things that are absolute? Murder, molestation, etc. I try not to ever pass judgement on people, one of my favorite phrases about an agent is that they are “a difficult man/woman to love.” That question from my teacher still plagues me, though. Thus I pass my plague along… :)

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Elisa Mmm, a challenging question indeed. We as humans, judge. Sometimes it's negative and sometimes positive, but that's hard to completely remove judgment and I believe that is the reason it's so difficult for us to see every single side unless we agree with it. On serious matters like murder, the question of absolute always rings in my ear. I don't have an answer…rather a plague to keep going and thinking about : ) But thanks for sharing!

  • Rahul

    hey guys i just needed some help plz….ihave to write an essay for my IB diploma and i av chosen the topic “we see things as not they are but as we are” can u help me how to go about it and i have to finish it in a week or so…plz write in ur ideas…i'll wait.

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Rahul Maybe some of the comments here will help or you can start with the quote by Anais Nin that I provided at the top? It's definitely a broad topic, so let me know if there's anything else we can help with. I think there's some great psychological research as well, which you can Google and cite. Thanks for stopping by and good luck on your essay!

  • Rahul

    @Grace first of all thanks for ur reply and now the problem is that i dont noe how to get started. what i was thinking is that i would first write all the sense percetion, the ways of knowing, our senses and our past experience. And then give examples on each of them. Examples would be on how each of them are important and how they influence us on understading thing diffrently than other. do you think i am on the right path if not then plz feel free to write i………and thanks once again.

  • rahul830

    plz reply…………..

  • rahul830

    thanks grace!!!

  • rahul830

    can someone tell me what areour reasons based on? i mean what are the determinants of a reason ? please give your suggestion
    according to me reasons are based on:
    1 our past experience
    2 knowledge
    3 situation

    please share your views. thank you

  • rahul830

    can someone tell me what areour reasons based on? i mean what are the determinants of a reason ? please give your suggestion
    according to me reasons are based on:
    1 our past experience
    2 knowledge
    3 situation

    please share your views. thank you

  • rahul830

    can someone tell me what areour reasons based on? i mean what are the determinants of a reason ? please give your suggestion
    according to me reasons are based on:
    1 our past experience
    2 knowledge
    3 situation

    please share your views. thank you

  • rahul830

    can someone tell me what areour reasons based on? i mean what are the determinants of a reason ? please give your suggestion
    according to me reasons are based on:
    1 our past experience
    2 knowledge
    3 situation

    please share your views. thank you

  • http://blog.rachaelstott.com/ Rachael Stott

    I'm not sure that this is the forum for this discussion but our behaviour and our 'reasons' are based on 3 things; 1) our intentions 2) our resources 3) our level of development/our view of the world.

    Our reasons will always support what we want (our intentions), the tools available to achieve what we want (our resources) and how we think the world around us works/what we deserve/our morals etc. In fact you can often use these 3 things to help understand why someone did something that you can't really understand. Its a good way to begin the process of understanding &/or forgiving another.

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Rachael This is a great answer. I welcome all feedback, comments, sharing and conversation here so thanks for replying to Rahul. This is very well thought out, made me ponder :)

  • http://blog.rachaelstott.com/ Rachael Stott

    Grace, I'm glad you liked my answer. I turn almost eerything into a growth exercize, but the above really helps me to relate to people that make me scratch my head. It is also a great way for me to change my own behaviour – i look at my behaviour identify my intentions, resources and perceptions and it makes it really easy then to decide which one I need to change to get to where I'm going :) have agreat weekend.

  • rahul830

    can ane help me to relate reasoning and emotions to “We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are.” – Anais Nin
    what are reasons and how do they make us understand things diffrently then others ?
    what role does emotion play in howwe see things diffrently ?
    if possible please give examples
    thank you ( especially rachael and grace )

  • rahul830

    please respond guys……………waiting

  • http://blog.rachaelstott.com/ Rachael Stott

    I'm working on it Rahul. Patience is a virtue =)

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Rahul Thanks for your continued interest! As I e-mailed you before, I gave you my thoughts around the topic as have a few more readers here…however, I wanted to point out that since this is an older post most of the commenting is done here so there probably won't be additional answers to your question. In addition, (as I own this blog) questions are to be answered and thoughts shared, but this isn't a forum where people are obligated to answer your questions, although most readers are engaged and interested.

    Just wanted to point out a few things here as I've noticed the continued activity/question on this post. Thank you again for stopping by. I hope all is well with you and I think Rachael also provided a great answer to your question.

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Rahul Thanks for your continued interest! As I e-mailed you before, I gave you my thoughts around the topic as have a few more readers here…however, I wanted to point out that since this is an older post most of the commenting is done here so there probably won't be additional answers to your question. In addition, (as I own this blog) questions are to be answered and thoughts shared, but this isn't a forum where people are obligated to answer your questions, although most readers are engaged and interested.

    Just wanted to point out a few things here as I've noticed the continued activity/question on this post. Thank you again for stopping by. I hope all is well with you and I think Rachael also provided a great answer to your question.

  • mimisolmssen

    Hello,

    I've found this post inspiring, because it has helped me re-evaluate my interpretation of this quote.

    I believe that we as humans are almost limited by our own abilities of perception and emotion. I believe that the way we interpret something, how we understand it and the final judgement we make of something almost says more about us as a person than it does about the thing we are trying to understand.

    I wrote my essay on this exact topic for the IB diploma and it is refreshing to see other people's interpretations of it.

    That being said, Rahoul, should not be turning to blogs to write his TOK essay for him. That is plagerism and is expressly forbidden by the IBO.

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @mimisolmssen I'm happy to hear you found the post inspiring. I definitely think there are always different ways to interpret quotes, to each their own, but this is how I found this one.

    As for Rahoul, clearly no one turned to writing his essay for him and simply contributed to the blog comments/conversation. I was clear in my e-mail to him. Thank you for looking out.

  • jacob12345678

    hey grace …

    i was wondering whether you could send me the same thing? i need some guidance!

    thanks!

    jacob

  • Kelly

    I chose that same title for my prescribed essay. I kinda felt like it was the easiest to write on out of all of the titles that we could choose from.

  • John

    Love your insight. Introspection is key to being. I think we should remember that “being” is about live and let live, but not about those who abuse that privilge at the expense of others. Peace, John.

  • daredevil

    Can someone please send me their essay on this topic.

    I have to write an essay on this same topic for my IB Diploma.

    Please send me your essays.

    Thanks alot. :)

  • Pingback: Distraction: A Factor in Career Success | Small Hands, Big Ideas()

  • beleza

    So, here is my question. How do I “meet my employees where they are at”? I run a call center with over 40 employees. All of my employees get frustrated because of a multitude of issues. I do what I can to show that we as management care, including spending money that I can't really afford to spend and am not getting reimbursed for and set up days for management to serve staff. But I'm struggling with the fact that even with all I do, and all the fighting I do on their behalf that they do not see, they feel I'm not meeting them where they are at because what they want to have happen, isn't happening.

    It's not an unwillingness on my part to do it; rather, it is the fact that I work for an administration that does not see where their actions have a negative affect on their staff and I took over for a supervisor who was always breaking major rules but this rule breaking was something the employees enjoyed. For about 9 months all they could say is how much better everything was but now that we are busy and getting call after call, they would prefer to be under the management they previously despised. And with all this some feel I'm not meeting them where they are at.

    Help!

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.com Grace Boyle

    @Beleza It's hard to meet employees “where they are at.”

    I think the best managers I've had are those who actually ask how I'm doing (personally) and then work alongside me the best way that I learn. Maybe ask them the ways that they learn best and if they don't want to be working there, maybe re-evaluating why you hired them or why they're there. There are so many people unemployed that these days, we can find people who are happy to be where they are and will work hard.

    Hope that helps! Thanks for stopping by.

  • Divinemburce

    ..hello again ms. grace..may i post this again on my profile..thank you..(“,)