When you look at someone what do you see?
We all meet a lot of people in life and in comparison with real time and eternity, we live for a very short time. We laugh, we cry, we are happy, we are sad. We have good times and bad times. It is so nice to see someone with a smile on their face in the morning, but it is also quite rare. A long time ago I learnt something, to not look at the outside of people but to try to look at their heart.
Some people are sad because of the things they are living through and others are happy without caring about what is happening to the person next to them. Some people loose themselves, their identity, they no longer know who they are and they are searching for answers. They try to identify themselves with others.
Some react in a very negative or aggressive way most of the time. These people are usually trying to protect themselves or are scared because of what they experienced in the past.
When we first came to Germany we couldn´t speak a single word of German. Mohammed went to learn German but I came to Germany under other circumstances and did not go to any classes. I learnt German alone at home and with the help of some friends.
I used to be tired all the time, after a while I realised that it was because I was concentrating so hard to try to understand what people were saying. I concentrated a lot on the expressions of their faces, the movements of their hands and their whole body language in general.
Although I have never been able to see colour or nationality, age or social status, during that time when I first arrived in Germany I learnt to really see the person. After a short time I could easily tell what was happening to the person in front of me even though I couldn´t understand everything they were saying.
When we can speak the language of the person in front of us, we tend to concentrate on the words being said and we loose the ability to see the person behind the words or the real meaning and impact behind what is being said. Now that I can speak German I tend to focus more on the words than on the expressions.
I have resolved to go back to looking more intensely at the person and listening really carefully. To really listen to what someone is saying, is to respect them, to give them value and to value your time with them. It is also a means to personal growth.
For both of us what matters is not what is on the outside but what is on the inside. What matters is the good things inside the person and the positive contribution they can have on our lives and that we can have on theirs. Focus on the positive and let go of the negative!
If we just throw words at each other without thinking whether these words are going to hurt the other person or not, then we can cause great damage to ourselves and to others. We are all human, not animals, no matter what we look like on the outside, where we come from or how old we are, we all feel in the same way. If you can get hurt so can I, so can anybody else.
Resolve this weekend to look inside the person in front of you and not at the outside. Really focus on what they are saying and listen carefully not just to the words but also hear the meaning of what they are saying.
Wishing us all a happy people weekend!
Beatriz and Mohammed
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