Near us live many farmers. They work year round with large pieces of equipment, like this tractor. As I passed by and peered into this mechanical beast of burden, I was shocked by the condition of the seat. As I walked home, it made me think. Why doesn’t he fix that thing? I can’t believe he has neglected his important tool so badly. How can he sit on that thing…then it hit me. I was the problem, not the broken seat. I was being judgemental on a topic I knew nothing about.
To me the seat was broken, to him the seat is a seat…it allows him somewhere to sit while he works on the bigger job at hand. He works day after day in the fields, earning a living for his family. I saw worn out, he saw a tool. So the rest of my walk home, I thought about how many times I have judged a situation without looking at it from the other person’s perspective. My way is not best. And let’s face it, most of the time there is some element of the “situation” about which I have no clue. So my judgements and cluelessness cause me to be the stupid one, not the farmer who has not fixed his seat.
What situation do you find yourself thinking about, where you need to look further into the other person’s perspectives and priorities? Is it time for you to learn what is important to someone else? Maybe this situation requires that what you want/think takes a back seat to the other person’s needs. Take time today to think about your “situation” from the persepctive of the broken seat…there might be more going on there than you realize.