Diverse perspectives are appreciated
We all have a voice
We all get a vote
We all want to be heard
We all need to listen.
This is what it means to have personhood.
If I saw the facts the way this person sees them, and experienced what they have experienced around this issue, what would it be like for me?
From there, I try to use imagination and empathy to project how I might feel in their situation. A lot of times the outcome surprises me. I sometimes begin to see life from a vantage point that never would have occurred to me.
Conflicting needs are negotiated
Sometimes conflicting perceptions result in conflicting needs. For example, a lot of times I get into it with someone. It takes me a while to recognize that both of us might want to be 'right' about the 'facts.'
Here's where we maybe have to get a bit creative. Maybe both of us really believe we are calling it the way we saw it. Well, then, that's a dead end because neither of us has the right to over rule the other.
On the other hand, if we get a little creative we can find a way to offer something that feels a lot like being 'right.'
- We can offer each other respect and regard.
- We can allow that it's theoretically possible that we misperceived or misinterpreted something
- We can vouch that we believe the other person is sincere in their belief
- We can explore what's so scary for both of us about seeing things differently
- We can open to the possibility that there is more than one reality - so we both really might be right
- We can commit that we won't ever put each other down or allow each other to be shut out just because we didn't see something the same way....
In a word, human rights gives us a lot of options. In my experience, there are about a zillion ways to validate someone else's humanity. Pretty much all it takes is for me to be sincere in wanting to.