When was the last time one of your strongly held beliefs was flipped upside down? What about something that caught you by complete surprise?
These scenarios usually happen to me when I travel outside of the USA, my home. Right when I least expect it, a belief or assumption I have gets thoroughly jolted. I’m usually not prepared for it.
When I was traveling in Morocco last week, I was completely caught off-guard, in a beautiful and touching way, by how many people expressed sympathy and heart-felt sorrow about the attack in Boston. I had assumed that even though it was all over the international news, there were other things top of mind for the local people – much like it is for me when I am at home.
When I shared that I was from the United States, more than not, people would say things like “My heart goes out to your country and people – it is so horrible”. They said it in English, in French, in Spanish, and Arabic - oftentimes, it was a beautiful, jumbled mixture of multiple languages.
The moments were humbling, connected, and powerful.
As Richard Branson says in his new book, Screw Business as Usual, “The way we live – and the way we do business – is changing like never before. Our growing interconnectedness, in part fueled by the growth of social media, is transforming the way the world works.”
If we look at our problems on our planet and how we are going to solve them, it is going to happen when we step into vulnerable situations and test our own assumptions. Only then can we have solid ground beneath us to have the conversations we need to have.
The thing is: You do not need to travel ten hours away from home to do this. The challenge is how we do it in our own backyard.
So I ask: What are you doing to widen your perspective?