Have you ever seen one of those optical illusion pictures that make their way around social media? The image is clear, but it looks like different things to different people. You see an old lady; someone else sees a young woman. And once you’ve identified the image as one thing, it can be very difficult (if not impossible) to make a shift to the other point of view.
A few years ago, a similar phenomenon—this one an auditory illusion—made the social media rounds. It was an audio clip where some people heard “Laurel” and others heard “Yanny.” And you probably got into an argument with a loved one about how they could possibly hear something different from you.
Jeff and I were no exception; we each thought the other was crazy. (After all, it clearly says Laurel, right? Right?) We started laughing as we recognized the silliness of our underlying assumption. And then we realized: there is actually a lesson here that could save every marriage, strengthen every relationship, and solve every division on the planet if every human being was able to apply it across the board.
Obviously, we’re all a jumble of imperfections, so that will never happen perfectly! But if we can just keep in mind one thought the next time we assume a spouse, friend, or random politician is just wrong, it would be a game-changer for us and for our culture.
Here is the thought:
“I can’t hear what you are hearing and I’m not seeing what you are seeing . . . but I trust that you are hearing and seeing it that way, and I care about you.”
Jeff explained this far more eloquently than I can, so here is what he said as he was processing it for me. Think on it—and see if you agree that it could be a game-changer for your relationships.