When I stand on the Stone Arch Bridge, time seems to slow in these late hours of the night. The tick of my watch is more subtle than normal, the people around me seem to disappear into the lights of the city. I am left in the solitude of my presence, left in the peaceful breeze of a Minnesota spring. I gaze into the city skyline and see the beauty of human skill, given by a Godly miracle. The streaming lights of cars passing by and the illuminated buildings provoke the thoughts of opportunity, curiosity, magnificence, and the desire to bring my dreams in front of the eyes of the thousands that sleep before me.
If you were to guess what this post was about based on the last paragraph, you’d probably be mistaken. What were your thoughts when you last saw the Minneapolis skyline, or any skyline? What do you feel when you dwell in the breeze of nature, when you dream of the future and what’s to come?
Is it fair to assume we all have different answers to that question?
Each and everyday we interact with people, always striving to understand what’s going on in the brain of another. Can we analyze communication methods, look into the theories of psychology, or make general assumptions after knowing someone for years? Sure, but we will never be capable of reading another person’s mind. It’s a skill that has eluded all but the one individual who created us.
Perhaps you’ve already thought about this, but why do we as a culture seem to forget this rather simplistic fact each and everyday. We engage in conflict assuming people think in a similar manner, or assume a common sense issue for us should be known by others. I know how to analyze the communication and body language of an individual using theories and concepts produced by scholars. My brother Jordan knows how to conduct complicated mathematical equations. Is it really fair to assume we could switch places?
Now bear with me, this blog post is not about whether or not we can perform in each other’s majors or careers. It’s trying to bring an understanding to our world that we do not think alike, and we need to bridge the gap that we all clearly have and all clearly ignore. Far to often have I been a part of a conflict that required a two-second resolution, and yet the conflict builds momentum for days. Imagine how simplistic conflict and communication would be if we spoke without assumptions and listened in a way that would allow us to realize there could be many variations to a single message.
Thought processes go into many more areas than just conflict, it permeates our entire existence. I wish people understood what it meant to me when I was called stupid in high school, and what it means now when my professors praise my work and I’m considered very intelligent. Imagine what it would mean to my friend to be called beautiful, when she feels inadequate. Imagine what it would mean to my friend to be told he’s” the guy to have around,” instead of hiding behind a mask of security.
The world experiences thoughts that never sleep, thoughts that remain unknown to all but our creator…
You think you understand my emotions, my thoughts, my feelings, my identity….
You understand what is illustrated to the eyes and ears of our world, but each of us fail to see the pieces that eventually create our identities; we all fail to see what creates the ink that eventually writes our story.