I was doing an Instagram Live sometime in the summer when the topic of social justice came up. A young Black city kid mentioned the stop-and-frisk laws that had been implemented in New York and staunchly opposed by many for years (the use has greatly diminished since the early 2000s, but apparently still exists).
As I addressed the subject, a middle-America White guy in his 40s (I knew these demographics as these people were frequent commentators) commented that he had never even heard of the stop and frisk practice.
That small episode showed me how disparate people’s experiences of life, and how those wide differences lead to such wide gaps between what we each see as “reality,” “fact,” and “truth.”
Most of the time when someone expresses what they see as a truth or reality, they’re not trying to deceive you (the news networks, on the other hand, are a different story). They’re expressing what they know about, what they see, what they have experienced.
Two challenges with this.
1) What we each experience as “life” is not even 1% of all that’s actually happening.
2) Many of us never even consider that what we have seen leaves out 99% of the entire picture.
I talked about this in episode #372 (“Your Limited Experience Does NOT = All Of Life”).
My challenge to you: Remember that what you’ve seen is pretty much nothing, compared to all that’s out there. Leave mental space for the possibility that someone has seen and experienced things that you have not, and that they have a smart, logical reason for thinking the way they do (just as you do).
Maybe, MAYBE, you’ll learn something.