One of the most challenging things in life is that it’s hard to remember to try to see things from other people’s perspectives. We’re all locked into our own point of view. We’re so focused on our world, our activities, and beliefs, that it’s hard to remember that other people can see things differently.
I heard a hilarious example of this phenomenon the other day. I was with a group of people, and we were all talking about a meeting we were going to attend, here in New York City. It was a big meeting with people from all over the area—coming from Brooklyn, Manhattan, New Jersey, and so on.
And a friend said to me, “I don’t understand why they scheduled the meeting to take place there. It’s so inconvenient! Why not pick a place that’s easier to get to?” (Note: she wasn’t suggesting that we meet in a place where many subways lines converged! That’s not what she meant by “convenient.”)
I didn’t say anything, but I was thinking, “Why say it’s inconvenient? It’s inconvenient for you—it’s probably very convenient for some people!”
It’s so easy, in big things and small, to assume that people see the world the same way we do. But even when we’re coming together, we’re all coming from different places, so we have different perspectives.
What’s inconvenient for me might be very convenient for you, and vice versa.