Thursday, February 10, 2011

Revelation of Knowing

I had a slight revelation today.

You don’t really know someone, until you take the time to get to know them.

It might sound simple, or even a little silly, “of course you have to know someone to know them!”

But I really mean that in a very deep, personal way. We can know people, but still not really know them.

We cannot truly know another until we hear their story, learn about their life journey, and understand their hurts and sorrows, because it is in the hurts and sorrows that our very true and real self comes to life.

Unless we have understanding we will not have tolerance.

I had these thoughts as I was driving home from work today. As I was packing up to leave a conversation started up between me and one of the ladies I share an office with. I started my job because this woman needed to take time off, and I could never figure out whether it was because she was sick, or she had a family member who was sick, the information I was given at the time was very incomplete and it gave me the impression that not to many of the other staff in our department really knew the whole story.

When this lady returned to work, I was also kept on staff, and for about 12 months after she came back, I felt like she resented the fact that they had kept me on. We also have been sharing a student, and I have for nearly 2 years now had more hours than she has with him. She has a very special attachment to this student as she has worked with him for years.

There have been numerous occasions where I have felt that she is speaking down to me, treating me as inferior and I have many times not wanted to continue with the job because of how bad it made me feel.

I managed to get through it and she seems to have somewhat warmed to me these last 6 months. And then came today’s conversation.

She opened up and revealed to me why she had been away and they needed to get me in to replace her for a time.

Her son had a psychotic episode and broke all of her fingers.

He suffers from mental health issues as well as Asperger’s Syndrome, and one particular night had a massive episode that resulted in my colleague having to fight a court issued restraining order against him – she is his soul carer.

There is so much about the people around us that we don’t know, that we don’t understand. Things that explain behaviours and quirks, attitudes and opinions and I am all too often guilty of jumping to conclusions without having all the facts, without getting to know them.

How much more can I tolerate those quirks when I understand what is going on in the background of someone’s life. And how much more will I take the time to really know those around me.

And seriously, how much better is juice when you drink it from a wine glass! Just sayin’…

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