It’s the last day of 2015. I’m sitting here watching the top 100 baseball plays of the year and can’t believe that there are no plays by Bryce Harper and the Nats so far in the list. A record breaking, MVP season for Bryce and not one highlight in the top 100. Hmmmm. Obviously, the MLB Network and I have very different criteria and perspectives regarding what’s “good baseball.” And as I reflect more on that idea, it becomes clear to me that this is a truth in so many areas of my world. My perspective on “things” is often different from those around me. And rightly so. Each of us has walked a different path in life, with different players, different experiences. These differences have created unique manifestations of Godstuff, each one bringing something special to the universal communal experience. And you would think that this is a good thing, that we would all be celebrating that uniqueness, that diversity in manifestation. If that were so, would we not have a world filled with peace and mutual support? Oops!
So what is happening? Again as I sit here watching the MLB top 100 and find myself disagreeing with their “perspective,” I recognize that my reaction to their “choices” says a lot about me. My initial reaction was one of disbelief. How could these “experts” not agree with me? They are biased against the Nats; everyone knows that. And then I noticed that I shift to something that is not quite anger, but close – my favorite team and its MVP player were ignored. How dare they! The establishment doesn’t like and accept brash young turks who don’t toe the line. “They” are just stupid. Clearly “they” don’t know what they are talking about. “Them” bad; “Me” good.
Isn’t that how it so often happens. Me vs. You – Us vs. Them.
The next thing you know, I’m cancelling my subscription to MLB Network, trashing them to everyone, looking for evidence everywhere that “they” are stupid and dangerous. Of course, when baseball season starts again, I no longer have access to games and inside information on my favorite sport. As my mom used to say, it looks like I cut my nose off to spite my face!
Again, isn’t this how it so often happens.
We take a position based on our perspective. When we are presented with a different position based on a different perspective, we react from a place of fear – usually unconsciously – a fear of being wrong; which, more often than not, comes from a sense of unworthiness buried deep inside. This fear activates our need to protect ourselves and we dig in and hunker down. Then we take action to shore up our “right” and gather evidence to prove our position. And the evidence can almost always be found. So see, I’m right!
Wow! All of that because I love my Nats!
Today, though, I decide to take a different approach. I take a deep breath and decide to put myself in the shoes of the MLB Network and its experts. What could they know and see that I might not? After a few deep breaths, I am able to admit that their selections are based on exposure to a much broader field of knowledge and experience, a more objective view of all the teams and players. And, in that moment of objectivity on my part, I must admit that the Nats season really was not that great! My expectation of the Nats in World Series was not met. Things just fell apart! With that shift, my feeling of anger towards “them” dissolved a bit.
Their expertise and their broader field of vision creates a different perspective. That different perspective does not, in any way, negate my perspective, based on love for, and appreciation of, my Nats. Both perspectives are valid and both exist simultaneously in my world. So, the key lesson to be integrated here is what do I do when faced with differences and diversity. Once again, isn’t this often how it happens.
When I take that deep breath and pause before I respond, I can remember that each of us has walked a different path in life, with different players, different experiences and these differences have created unique manifestations of Godstuff, each one bringing something special to the universal communal experience. When I am consciously able to reconnect with the foundational knowing that each of us is a unique and necessary part of this amazing universe, I can allow other perspectives to be valid without invalidating my own. From that understanding, I remember that I don’t have to put those perspectives with which I am not in alignment into my portfolio as rules for living my life. And neither do the MLB Network experts…
Isn’t that how is can happen! And from that perspective, the world can be much more peaceful and alive for all of us. May it be so in 2016 for me, for you, and for our world!