To say your neighbour Maria is a rose fanatic might be an understatement.
Why? Maria talks, thinks and spends all her time, money and energy…on roses.
You’re not against flowers. But inwardly, you believe Maria is a little over the edge with her rose obsession!
One day you’re having a conversation over the hedge and Maria is gushing about how beautiful her roses are. Not wanting to get drawn into a lengthy account of the latest flower show, you shut the conversation down and walk away wondering to yourself, “What is it about these roses that has her so captivated?”
A simple question
A while later, you are looking out your kitchen window. You see the back side of a few rose bushes as you peer through Maria’s hedge and again wonder, “What’s so special about those roses?”
You decide it’s time to find out.
You leave your house and make the trek to Maria’s door. You knock, wondering what you may be getting yourself into.
“Maria, I know you’re passionate about roses—but I’ve never taken the time to ask why. I’d really like to know now. Why do you love them so much?”
Entering someone else’s world
Maria instantly feels deeply honoured, and smiles.
“There are several reasons, but let me show you the main one.”
Maria leads you to her large kitchen window, which overlooks the most amazing rose garden you have ever seen—where the sights and smells hit you with equal force.
While your eyes and nostrils take in the riot of colour and fragrance, Maria begins to tell you about her earliest memories helping her mother in her rose garden back in Yugoslavia. Her mother has since passed on, and that makes those childhood memories all the more poignant.
What you’ve learned is this: Maria’s fondest memories of her entire life are infused with those lush moments in her mother’s rose garden.
Making sense of others
Now that you see and feel Maria’s reality the way she sees it, her rose obsession makes sense to you.
Your views about how she spends her time and what she talks about have undergone a big shift as a result of your newfound understanding.
But what did it take to gain this understanding?
Understanding involves effort
Before you asked Maria about her rose fascination, there were several actions you first had to take:
Stepping out, stepping in
All the actions above—to see and feel Maria’s reality—boil down to two main ones:
When you step into Maria’s world, it is relatively easy to see her reality the way she sees it.
However, to effectively step into another person’s world, you must first step out of your own.
For most people, leaving our own world is brutally difficult. Why? We’re used to the feeling of security, comfort and safety.
But consider what you’re missing.
Smell the roses
Look for an opportunity to step out of your own world and into someone else’s—a colleague, an employee, one of your children, a spouse or a friend.
You’ll not only walk away with a profoundly deeper understanding of that person, but a deeper relationship with them—because you took the time to show you cared.
Co-Founder of Juice Inc, Thought Leader & Author
Co-Founder of Juice Inc.
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