The other day my wife Carolyn and I were having breakfast on a sweeping veranda at a lovely B&B. We were seated near a table of four individuals that were having less of a discussion, and more of a “mini-lecture.” One person would speak at the group, then another would one-up that comment with another “mini-lecture.” The “I know more than you” game circled the table twice before we got our breakfast.
I found myself growing more and more annoyed. I mean, really, if you are going to be with others, why not be engaged?
To me, there was no passion – no questions asked, no affirmation or acknowledgements, no follow-up to deepen the knowledge or to broaden the learning. I found the interchanges were stilted and lifeless, and more than a little tragic.
In the midst of sharing this observation with Carolyn I felt my own twinge of superiority in my judgment of them. To me, through my lens of what constitutes a meaningful gathering, such a breakfast conversation would look and feel completely different.
However, I was not at their table—they might find their conversation to be perfectly acceptable. I have an outsider lens. I was amazed how quickly I rushed to judgment.
I encourage you, too, to note the biases of the lens through which you view the world and how it affects your everyday life moments.