Two people can see the same thing, yet have two totally different interpretations of what they just saw.
Two people can engage in the same conversation, yet walk away with two totally different viewpoints on what they just heard, said, or even meant to say.
Two people (two students) can sit in a classroom, and get two totally different conclusions from the same lesson and the same instructor.
Two people can live in the same country, in the same state, in the same county, in the same city, on the same street, yet have two different interpretations of the health and well-being of their community.
Two people can be in the same friendship, relationship, or marriage, and the two people in it can have a night and day version regarding the happiness and health of that relationship.
Two people can engage in sex, yet can have totally different perceptions of the experience.
Two people can share the same meal, at the same table, at the same time, yet have two varied experiences.
Two people can recognize and worship the same God, yet walk away with two different ideologies, and receive two very different interpretations of guidance from the same religious leader in the same congregation received at the same time.
Two people can work for the same employer, make the same pay, yet for some reason have totally different experiences. Totally different job satisfaction.
Two people can say “I love you,” yet love to each of the two people could mean two entirely different things.
Two people (siblings), conceived by and born to the same parents, growing in the same household, and having access to the same resources can grow up in that same roof and turn out totally different.
Two people can definitely see the same thing differently!
Sometimes it’s not enough to know one person, or in some cases two people to get to some sort of truth. It’s simply not enough to do a superficial scratching of the surface to determine who’s right and who’s wrong. As a matter of fact, deciding who’s right and who’s wrong should be the last conclusion you one draws. We are human, we all are biased, and we all are at times partial when it comes to things we hear from our friends, loved ones, colleagues, and even in the news simply because we like or dislike the messenger.
At times, it’s not appropriate to believe the first thing we hear. Most times in fact I believe, regardless of where the thing comes from. Sometimes, we need to take a step back and dive deeper into a story. Ask questions that may intrude on the lives of either one or both of these two people which made lead to a middle road that leads more to a truth. We need to be mature and unbiased, and use plain old common sense when providing that shoulder to cry on and listening ear.
Some of the things that help to form and influence us as individuals from childhood and throughout our lives (upbringing, family, environment, socioeconomic background, education, previous life experiences) also play a huge role in: 1.) How we see, 2.) What we see, 3.) How we hear, and but most importantly, 4.) How we believe and perceive. If you don’t believe me, try to have a conversation with someone with a different political preference than yourself today, or try talking to a couple in the midst of a break up.
Because of this, it is so important not to jump to conclusions, not to take sides, and be rational (and the devil’s advocate) when engaging in conversations that relate to two people. I don’t care if it’s the POTUS, or your momma. Don’t take sides without doing the work, listening to both sides, asking important questions, and lastly attempting to be impartial. Just because one of the two people in a disagreement or dissolution is a family member, doesn’t mean their right/not at fault. It simply means that you love your family and blood is thicker than water.
Everyone deserves the right of due process. Having been on the receiving end of the “side-eyes” from ex in-laws due to my spouse’s secretly bashing me on the long road to divorce, I totally get how people/family attempting to support their loved ones believe everything they say. There is a journey to a divorce. It doesn’t happen overnight. Nor is there one person at fault most times. Mature people get it and are able to speak truth to lies and kill darkness with light.
The part I don’t understand is that how can one do so, when we all know there is more than one side to a story involving two or more people. It’s amazing, insulting, and ultimately disrespectful.
I can recall years ago receiving reports about my children when they were younger. I took the stance to listen to what the person said and evaluate what I know about my own kids to determine where the truth lies. Although I felt I had come to a reasonable conclusion (based on the story, knowing my kids, my gut), I still took the time to get the opinion of my kids to at least make them feel like they had a chance to share their story. It was an important part of the two people problem solving process. It is an important part of getting to the root of the two people finding themselves in a conflict when your listening ear is called upon.
Most people aren’t mature enough to do that. Failing to do so causes great pain and so much division. How can people not apply impartiality when it comes to their loved ones in the two people situations?
There are always four sides to a story or situation. There are the sides of the two people, the side/opinion of the listener, then there is a truth that comes from those three interpretations. Be cautious when listening. Forming opinions without sufficient information can have detrimental consequences.
The saying that there is more than one side to a story is absolutely true. How that story was created is a broad, crooked, and at times quite deceptive. Two people, with possibly very different stories, one truth. That truth may very well be somewhere in between the two stories. Be wise enough, kind enough, and patient enough to get to that truth.