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I was at Tesco the other day doing a quick little grocery shop. I'd brought my own reusable bag to carry my things home so when the cashier asked me if I'd like a bag I quickly and happily replied (as my parents taught me) 'No Thank You'!
She stared at me for a moment with a big smile, repeated 'No Thank You' a few times and giggled. I stood there wondering what was so funny. Was it weird that I said Thank You? Did she think I was too polite? Was there something in my teeth? I was confused and I'm sure my face showed it so she finally explained herself.
"Your accent, it's so cute!"
Right. I constantly forget that around here, I'm the one with an accent. I hear little kids walk by me on their way to school and think oh how cute. I listen to adults around me and think, I love how they just said that. But me? I don't have an accent - I say things the normal way, right? Wrong.
The whole accent thing, however cute it might be, is a reminder that I see the world through my eyes only. And so do you. We all see through our own lens. Our view of ourselves and the world is so personally shaped by our life experiences, so it's always going to be a little bit different than the person next to us.
I know we'd all like to live in a world where we're right all the time but the truth is that the way we see things isn't necessarily the way they are.
The importance of remembering this stretches far beyond my new found accent. I'm choosing to let my Tesco encounter be an important lesson for two different areas of my life.
How I see myself and how I see others.
The next time I hear my mind make a judgement about who I am or how I look, I'm going to ask myself is that actually true or am I looking through a limited lens?
Same goes for others. The next time I hear my mind stuck in knowing the 'right' way, I'm going to ask myself how can I know what's right when I'm not in their shoes? Can I at least try to see things from their point of view?
My little friend at Tesco was simply commenting on my 'cute' accent but she reminded me the importance of checking myself, my perspective and the way I'm looking at life. There's no 'normal' way, 'right' way or 'wrong' way. The next time you're stomping your feet - hopefully metaphorically - and trying desperately to prove you're right, I hope you remember my little accent story and try your best to open your eyes to a different way of seeing things.