I have a confession to make: I judge people who share a lot of motivational memes on social media. Maybe it’s the last stronghold of my cynic, cold heart days. Don’t worry; I don’t judge too much because I’m sure you’re tired of seeing pictures of my cat. So there, we’re even.

My longtime friend and stylist, Brother C is one of these motivational memers (<—made-up word)….and he’s the only one who has escaped my judgment because he means his memes. Does that even make sense? Mean your memes, people. Anyway, Brother C shared one the other day, and it stuck with me.

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It stuck with me enough to ALMOST find a better version for this blog post, because, well, just look at it. It’s not very motivational looking, to be honest, but I digress. Those words though…

“I stopped explaining myself when I realized people only understand from their level of perception.”

…they stick with you, don’t they?

The Mshell Translation: I gave up on explaining and wrote them off because they didn’t change their mind and agree with me.

How do you respond when someone has perspective about a situation than yours? Do you engage in a tit for tat debate OR do you try to have a meaningful conversation? I remember when we used to try talking through these things, to seek common ground. But today? No way. Think of the repercussions of having a subjective discussion and being willing to hear a different opinion. Gasp! Rarely will either party reach a unanimous decision or even change their minds. The discussion takes place and ends with both sides defending their logic in contradiction to the other without actually listening. No progress made.

Are you with me? How many times have you had a conversation in the last six months where you and your friend (colleague, neighbor, whoever) go back and forth on something and never agree….you know that phrase agree to disagree….yeah, that. How many times have you said that? I bet you can count at least 57 if you talk politics with anyone other than your cat.

But it’s not just politics; it’s everyday life. Simple misunderstandings become overdramatized events otherwise quashable if people would shut the eff up, turn their heads off and listen. We have to stop talking at each other and being unwilling to understand things from the other person’s level of perception. Those holding contradictory points of view shouldn’t be condemned, and we certainly shouldn’t treat them disrespectfully because they didn’t agree with your viewpoint. Using mockery and denouncement to demonstrate your point is just shitty shitterson.

Is anyone else tired of the state of things? If so, join me in trying to be more understanding and remembering that everyone has their perspective and respect that it’s a perspective formed from their unique experiences and background.

I’m going to make a concerted effort to:

1. Be more open and transparent…errr, and not just with people who are closest to me.
2. Listen more, defend less.
3. Surround myself with people who want to do more of the second item.
4. Forgive failures quickly (self and others)

Life is too short not to spend it laughing, loving and listening (and apparently being super lame in the midnight hour). Be kind and forgive.