I was talking to a relative lately, who told me, "I don't understand you, because I..." and that right there, is the reason why people in this world can't understand other people. It's the "because I" part that causes the "I don't understand you" part. If you are going to approach other people from the perspective of yourself, then you are never going to understand them, and that is an inability that is on you, it's not a disability on the part of the other person. The other person isn't disabled because you can't understand him/her. You are the one who is less capable. I told her, "I can understand a rock, a tree, and another person." So what's the difference between a person like me, who can understand the uniqueness of a rock, and most other people out there? I don't approach other people, or the world, from the perspective of "I", from the perspective of, myself. I approach another person through the perspective of that person. To understand, to truly understand, is to see through the eyes of the other person and to stand inside of their own skin. You can understand them, without losing an understanding for yourself. You can stand in another's skin, truly understanding them, while also still being able to say to them, "This is me, too. I understand you fully, but this is me, so don't make me feel like there's something wrong with me, because you can't understand me from your own perspective of yourself."
I will never tell another person, "I don't understand you..." and why? Because if I say that, it means that I am disabled in a way. The inability to connect to another's perspective is, I believe, a disability. You see, it's about empathy. It's not about you. It's about empathy. It's not even about caring or being kind. It's about empathy. Do you think that all people who can empathize with other people (and rocks and trees), are desirous of being kind, at all times? Of course not! Empathy often hurts, and is often difficult. But we experience this difficulty, because we are human beings, because human beings are designed to connect with other living and non-living things! Or you know what... I don't know... maybe there is such a thing as a mutant, and maybe the levels of empathy that can morph itself into other things, is a super mutation! Do you think so? Because maybe you can be a mutant, too! Maybe you can be more than mundane, too!
Not everything is about you. Period. It's not about your perspective; it's about this is your perspective and that is the other person's perspective and if you both share your perspectives with one another, then you can understand each other without losing respect for one another. What do you base your respect for another person on, anyway? Upon whether or not their ways of doing things is like yours? If it's the same as your way of doing things, then you have a huge respect for the other person? In that case, that doesn't even mean you respect that other person! That just means you respect yourself, your own way of doing things, and you like to hang out with people who are just like you! Because that's just easy to do!
Now, at this point in my writing of this piece, I'm reminded of the recent legalisation of same-sex marriage in all States across the U.S.A. Of course, there is complaining everywhere. And of course I am seeing it a lot, because most of the people I know are conservatives. But why is their complaint irrelevant? Their complaint is irrelevant, because it comes only from the perspective of how they feel, how they think, they cannot accept an act that is contradictory to what they believe, even if it has nothing to do with them. Of course, these people will say, "If you have the right to say what you believe in, then I have the right to say what I believe in" but that is not applicable to this situation, because, it's not about believing in something or not believing in something; it is in fact about a person being a certain way, and wanting to have an equal right in the eyes of the law, even if they are that way! It's about gay kids not feeling like they need to kill themselves anymore! Who cares about how you feel about seeing two guys kissing each other! How you feel is really important? Not really. What's important is that another human being, other human beings, will be given equal opportunity to live and to thrive! Human beings receiving equal opportunity to live and to thrive, is a lot more important than how you feel about it! So the Bible says that homosexuals should burn in hell? What does the Bible say about your tattoo? Or about your fornication? Or about your ear piercing? Or about you eating crabs and shrimps? Do you like to eat shrimp? Yes? Then you're good as gay in the eyes of God, anyway, so shut up and sit down! Yes, I know the Bible! Probably more than you do!
Now, to wrap this up, I don't want to leave anyone thinking that I actually believe that God sees people in bad ways because they eat shrimp or are gay. But that's certainly what's in the Bible. So why don't I believe that's what God feels? Well aside from the fact that the Bible was canonised by a bunch of Popes and Bishops who, wanting to gain ultimate power at the time, could have put whatever they wanted into it, I also believe that things written in the Bible were structured in such a way, in order to lead a person to see the erroneous nature of his ways. You can't be gay and you can't eat shrimp and you can't fornicate— that means you need to go and be Amish! But then Jesus came along and said, "let he who has no sin cast the first stone."
Empathy isn't about you, understanding another person isn't about you, feeling how another person feels isn't about you... step outside of your own skin for a change. Respect another person because they are who they are; not because the other person is just like you. Your inability to understand, your inability to empathize, is not a fault on the part of the other person. It is in fact your own disability that you are choosing to live with.