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  • Writer's pictureJohn Whitehead

The World I Know

Recently, I have become increasingly more aware; my life is constantly influenced by my thoughts and perspectives, and they are all determined by my focus.

Each one is based on my experiences and is subject to “the world I know”.

This world, though uniquely mine, is not all encompassing because it is limited to my experiences, attitudes, and beliefs. If we can agree on this, then we should be able to agree that those around us are also limited by the world they know.

One would think this would create common ground where we could agree we are limited in our ability to understand and accept one another.

Unfortunately, for most, finding common ground does not seem to be high on their list of priorities. In fact, it is as if “the world I know”, is the only world that matters.

The arrogance resulting from this type of thinking is more evident today than ever before as people refuse to consider the possibility, they could be wrong. This has led to blatant hostility and an unwillingness to entertain another thought, desire, opinion or point of view.

The root cause of the problems created by this type of thinking is not new or unique. The root cause is selfishness, which drives most of our decisions, thoughts, and considerations. The irony is, selfishness, is steeped in arrogance and reeks of insecurity creating a felt need to be defensive.

Even reading this will cause some to feel attacked and become offended, which simply provides evidence to my premise.

The beauty of life is there is almost always an option available to us. If we choose to, we can change our attitude at any time and expand our world to include others. However, when we do, we must be aware, this invites risk, because inviting others into our world allows us to see into theirs.

As with any risk, there is always a reward. The reward in this case, is the establishment of genuine relationships. Relationships that can bring the benefit of consideration, kindness and caring. Which will turn “the world I know” into the world we share.

Think of the possibilities of a world where we are listening to one another. A world where we are discussing the issues we disagree on without animus or vitriol. One where we are removing our desire to be right and replacing it with the desire to help others feel valued simply by being heard.

The benefits are endless, and from here anything is possible. The question is, are we willing to change our world for the benefit of others? Or will we just be limited by the world we know?

Colossians 3:2, “Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.

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