I have a cartoon on my desk with an image of Jesus talking to the Apostles. The caption reads, “Okay everyone, now listen carefully. I don’t want to end up with 4 different versions of this!”
I keep the cartoon on my desk because it’s funny, first off, and also because it is a good reminder that even though we may be listening to the same story, each one of us may have a different interpretation.
I think that is true for all of our interactions with people. Each person comes with their own history, thought processes and way they see the world. That is not a bad thing. It means that each person can bring a different perspective to each situation. However, sometimes it may be difficult to see another person’s point of view because of the baggage we ourselves bring to the table. Especially at Christmas time with gatherings with coworkers, friends and family we may have conversations and such that we don’t generally have.
I think it’s a good thing to keep in mind to try to keep an open heart and mind when dealing with others during the holidays, and other times as well. This is certainly the case at this time of year because stresses and emotions run the gamut.
There is a quote from James that I particularly like on this subject: “Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger. (James 1:19).