Saturday, August 22, 2009

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from their point of view – until you climb inside their skin and walk around in it.” Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird is probably the most widely read book dealing with race in America. In the 1962 Academy Award winning movie of the same name, Gregory Peck played the role of Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South who defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his kids against prejudice. The book and the movie challenged a generation of Americans to learn to see the world through the eyes of others.

That lesson – seeing things from another’s point of view – may be the most important thing we learn in life and at work. There’s never a single point of view – in anything – and learning to recognize and be sensitive to the views of others is a key to being successful. Whatever you do today – try to see it through the eyes of others, feel it through the senses of others, hear it through the ears of others, understand it in the minds of others, and walk it in the shoes of others. The real mastery of this comes when you can do all of those things before you think or act or speak or write or walk; that’s when you’ll truly be at your best. That’s when you will truly understand. That’s when you’ll be one with the world around you.

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