A couple days ago, my little sister ran to my mom wining that my brother had hit her. My mom looked at her, and asked knowingly, “Emily, did you throw his shoes in the toilet again?” And she had. So instead of just hearing my sister complain, and yelling at Matthew, my mom considered the underlying reason for the misbehavior; the missing piece of the puzzle, or the other side to the story. It is through observations like these that I have grown to believe that, whether it is a matter of sibling rivalry or a case in a federal court, there are truly two sides to every story. Few people, however, are like my mom in taking the time to consider both.
Considering all positions in all circumstances is necessary because it is only then that good decisions and judgments can be made. Even our parents and teachers agreed when they would tell us of homelessness and poverty, and they would say, “Put yourself in their shoes.” So we would empty out our pockets and donate old clothes. By walking in another’s shoes, or seeing through another’s eyes, we are further educating ourselves; Forming that ability to create our own opinion and defend an argument 100%. The ability to achieve such confidence is only possible when we are able to truly say we understand the opposition, and still maintain our position.
Appreciating both sides of an argument is a concept that even lawyers must accept. They acknowledge that the only way they are able to win a case is by understanding and evaluating the opposing argument. Still, there are many people, who don’t stop to consider different views or possibilities, and only end up harming themselves by remaining obstinate. Without a fairly open mind, success with relationships and careers could result negatively or even unlikely. So, the next time you walk by a homeless person or your sneakers get thrown in the toilet, consider the fact that everyone has a story. And that the story at hand may not always exist as it appears to be.
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