Our eyes are trained, in the most unavoidable way. Every lived experience shapes our perspective on the surrounding world. Our morals, values and beliefs. Everything we use as the foundation for our individuality comes from a personal vantage point. Our personal lens causes us to see reality in a specific way.
These lens' are one-of-a-kind, as intricate and detailed as the DNA within us. While it’s possible to share similar traits with people, there is always at least one characteristic creating the line of distinction. Which is what makes us each of us an individual.
My outlook comes from my journey growing up as a young, African-American female in the 21st century. I am influenced by the heritage and traditions of my family and culture. Expanding outside of my ethnic background, my personal opinions are derived from different experiences. From my years of school, to the places I've traveled, to the people I've met. My opinions and beliefs are comprised of tiny pieces of my life. Once you understand the idea of a lens, everything becomes more clear.
I can’t tell YOU how to live your life.
I can’t tell you what you can and cannot feel. Because I have not lived your life. Though, what I can do is be a rational human being and work toward understanding your perspective. Having real dialogue and in-depth conversations. Being open-minded and willing to learn about other cultures. Stepping outside of my pre-existing filter, while attempting to see your side.
Will this guarantee an agreement? No. The answer is truly based on the nature of the individuals and subject at hand. But it’s a solid start regardless.
If our society wants to establish revolutionary change, we must first step outside of our own biased opinions. Soften our rough edges and learn to have respect for people of all racial, gender, sexual and socioeconomic backgrounds. We must learn to live life unfiltered.
That will be the key toward unlocking more valuable progress in the future.