My favorite moments in life are when someone shows me a new perspective — a way of thinking I had never considered.
Ideally it’s something I opposed, but they help me understand why it works for them.
- The sex worker explains why she loves her job.
- The Singaporean in the three-piece-suit explains why clothing is like the SMTP protocol.
- The Hindu explains why poverty doesn’t upset her.
- The Muslim explains why Islamic law is a perfect recipe for peace.
- The hedonist justifies her partying, and tells me the most heart-warming explanation for her ugly tattoo.
These conversations are the most memorable — the most life-changing — because I get a personal introduction to a mindset.
Then those people I thought were wrong, stupid, or crazy suddenly make sense.
Thinking that people are stupid is not thinking.
Understanding them is.
They lend me their shoes and glasses, so I can walk a mile with their viewpoint and experience it for myself.
It helps me see why it works for them, and how it might work for me.
I never want to debate, but if I had to, I would hope to lose.
I don’t want to convince anyone of my existing perspective.
I would rather be convinced of theirs.
It’s more interesting to assume that they are right.