The problem with the world is that it isn’t.
THE WORLD doesn’t exist. A WORLD doesn’t exist.
There’s your world and my world; her world and his world. Our worlds seem excruciatingly close. So close, in fact, that they seem to be one.
Okay, one simple example of different worlds …
The simplest analysis of our learning styles is VAK; that some people learn visually (by seeing things), some people learn audibly (by hearing things) and some kinaesthetically (by doing things).
If we’re a visual learner, we won’t remember much of what we hear. We may remember nothing of what others say, while noticing what they’re wearing, what they’re showing us and all the other images in the world around us.
The audible learner may berate us: “You never listen to a thing you say!”
They’re wrong. We do listen but it doesn’t go in. That’s not how we learn best. You’re not lazy or stupid or disrespectful. You’re just a visual learner. If they’d shown you a picture, put up a poster or given you a book, you would have taken the information in and retained it.
While you’re sensitive to matching the colours that you wear, they’re sensitive to the sounds around them. While they’re fussy about the music they like you can listen to any old music … or none. In fact, they can probably study and
think with music playing. You probably can’t.
Then there’s the third learner, the kinaesthetic learner who won’t read instructions (visual) or listen to anyone’s advice (auditory) and just barges in, takes physical risks and figures out life – and IKEA furniture assembly – by experimentation, by trial and error.
There is also the more complex seven levels of learning – visual, aural, verbal, physical, logical, social, solitary – which break us, and our worlds, down even further. Our differences go on and on.
The path to war
Our biggest mistake is assuming that your world is the same as mine … that if your world’s a visual one, then so is mine and everyone else’s. It’s the biggest mistake as we go to war over it, trying to force others to experience our world. They never will.
We may walk a mile in someone else’s shoes but, eventually, they’ll give us blisters. We’ll usually return to our comfortable world and it’s only a special few who have the courage to put down their blinders, put down their expectations and forgive others their particular and peculiar ways.
The only war we’ve ever had with each other is fuelled by the need to prove ourselves right (and others wrong) and to force our particular and peculiar rightness on them.
The path to peace
The path to peace, then, lies in laying down our rightness, laying down our fragile egos and accepting there’s more than our way of seeing things.
Then, weirdly, when we tell ourselves the truth of these differences and give up “righting” everything, do our separate worlds collapse into each other in the most gracious and comforting way. Then, and only then, will one world remain standing.
Try it, you’ll love it!