Babies in Bathwater

By Mr. Self Development

I received an e-mail from a gentleman the other day that said, in a nutshell, “I can’t believe you quoted ‘so and so’ in your last article, that person is such a…you can fill in the blank.” They went onto say that they are ashamed of me, and that I could count on them unsubscribing from my site.

Now this person may still be subscribed to the site, I don’t know, but today I wanted to talk about this e-mail that I received from this gentleman, and why it’s absolutely critical to your success that you not think the way he’s currently thinking.

By the way, I read every e-mail that you all send, I don’t always have time to reply to them, but I read them, and I sincerely appreciate them, all of them, especially the one from this gentleman.

So What’s the Problem?

After I received his e-mail, I thought about it for a moment, I thought…that’s a little strange that someone would unsubscribe, because I quoted someone who they disagree with (and they explained in detail why they disagreed with this person). I thought, that’s a very unique perspective this person has, a perspective that happens to be the exact opposite of mine.

As I reflect on the individual whom I quoted in the article, I must note that I to fundamentally disagree with lots of things that this particular person has said, and yet, I have learned so much from this person.

It’s Okay to Disagree

You should have friends, read books, watch television programs, and listen to speakers, who have a very different perspective from you, and this is not just a cool suggestion, but an absolute must if you are to be of any relevance in this very diverse world that we live in.

I don’t think there’s one person on this planet that I agree with everything they say, and yet I can learn so much from every person that I come in contact with.

You know, I even disagree with articles that I have posted on this Web site…that I have written!

Changing Perspectives

You must understand life from your perspective, and then you must also understand life from the perspective of hundreds of others whom you fundamentally disagree with, if you are to be relevant. If you pigeon hole your life, and only listen to people with whom you agree, only spend time with friends who think like you, and only read books that confirm your present opinions, how can you grow, how can you be stretched, I don’t even think it’s possible for you to grow at all.

When’s the last time you changed your mind on a perspective that you held since you were a child. This should happen all the time, your mind should constantly be evolving, because it should constantly be stretched with ideas that have never entered it before.

Today I disagree with some things that I held to be true last week, and this is the journey of growth that I’m on.

Think Bigger

When I read on a particular topic, I like to read regarding why folks are in favor of a particular idea, and then I like to hear the opposite perspective, and really apprehend both sides, only then can you really learn and be relevant enough to make business decisions and life decisions that have a positive impact on the world at large.

A Multitude of Counselors

Solomon said, in the multitude of counselors there is safety. You should spend time with many counselors, counselors with different opinions, counselors who don’t agree, in order to broaden your mind to the possibilities that exist for you, and the possibilities that exist for the world.

Your success depends on your relevance, your relevance depends on your ability to extract valuable information from the world, both sides of the world. That’s not to say that you’re going to agree with everyone, or that you should, but you should certainly be properly informed, is this not self-evident.

The rich need to understand the desperation of the poor, the saint needs to understand the depravity of the sinner, the genius must understand the common man and vice versa.

In Closing

We must seek to learn from everyone, even when we can’t agree on a matter, we should sincerely desire to understand differing perspectives. Every person you come in contact with, brings with them a baby sitting in bathwater. You may not like the bathwater the baby is sitting in, the water may be filthy, but there’s a valuable baby somewhere in that water, your job is to find the baby. Your job is to collect all the babies, from all the people you meet, it’s like a video game, call it “Babies in Bathwater.”

I promise you, I will learn something from the dumbest person, as well as from a person who I fundamentally disagree with, and so should you. Truth be told, I can watch grass grown and learn something profound and prolific, don’t limit who or what you learn from.

Expand your mind, learn from your enemies, see life from the perspectives of others, and this decision will position you to have the knowledge to make decisions that profoundly impact a changing world.

Thank you for reading!

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April 15, 2015

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