Sunday, 28 October 2012

Connecting with others

I was just  reading some comments about 'solipsism'. The solipsistic viewpoint suggests that it's not possible to prove the existence of anything beyond your own mind. This may seem extreme or silly to most people, just the province of philosophers in their ivory towers, tying themselves up in knots. Good luck to them! But don't we apply something of this perspective in everyday life?

Stepping stones across the waterIf not logically, then perhaps from an emotional point of view, we may not always feel that closely connected to others. We can have a sense of our own thoughts and feelings, but not so much of how others think and feel -that can seem less real to us. However doesn't connecting with others in a meaningful way involve seeing at least something of their point of view? Doesn't it involve seeing them as people separate from us - with their own mind, own way of seeing things, own way of feeling things?

It isn't always easy to understand where others are coming from. We can tend to expect that they think about things in the same way that we do. Of course in many ways, this is the case, we share the same culture, have many things in common - but how we think and feel about it may not be exactly the same.

The point I'm trying to make is that understanding other people's point of view can be an enriching experience for us. It can help us feel more connected to others and feel more a part of the world, rather than on our own, seeing others from a distance.

There may be times when we feel distressed and unable to take in other people's point of view so well. This seems to me fair enough. It's important to look after ourselves. However to listen to others and to try to understand from their perspective can help us get closer. That in turn can also be helpful for us. In feeling more securely connected with others, we may feel better in ourselves and more part of the world.

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