There is something to be learned from everyone.
The most difficult part in doing so, is changing ones perspective. Losing yourself into someone you do not know, becoming vulnerable and asking the questions that aren’t normally asked. In trying to see from another’s point of view you expose yourself to judgement and criticism. In order to truly try and understand another you have to expose yourself, because it is from your perspective, your view of them is defined by your view of yourself. And if you’re trying to view them, you’re going to have to view and review yourself, thus allowing the sun to shine on and burn your pale shed skin.
Let’s say I ask you a question about how you feel about puppies and you say that you don’t like them for a host of reasons. My response would be, how the hell do you not like puppies! That response is based off of my view of puppies – however that view was developed. To me puppies are great, that is my thought and that is my truth, but what if you’re right and puppies are actually secretly evil. Use your imagination and let’s pretend that is true. How scary and completely absurd does something that does not match your point of view sound? Well, impossible, puppies are great, you’re wrong, I’m right, the sky is blue, the birds fly south, penguins can’t fly, I can’t be wrong.
Well, you are certainly wrong about puppies, but that doesn’t mean that I am right. And I being right doesn’t mean that you are wrong.
People’s incapability to listen will be the downfall of humanity. Tunnel vision will get you where you want to go, only to realize that you didn’t really want to go there in the first place.
The colours only have their colour when paired with another.
So, ending this small rant of changing perception, you can always learn something from another person. You can learn where they are from, what they like, new information about the world, a new recipe for peanut butter cookies, how to properly soak and ferment nuts and seeds, why the Cubans have such nice cigars, what strain of weed is best for watching a horror movie, who killed who in the latest melodrama, if the musical was really as good as people have been saying, the futility of man, how to explore Europe properly, why Chang did that to Cindy, what true genius is, the nature of time, what kind of foreign dish is your favorite, the joys of solitude, why you enjoy listening to Beatles so much, who you like to spend your time with, what you like to do, where you like to go, why you like to do things, your purpose in life. Or you can learn that the person you’re trying to talk to, who is doing most if not all of the talking, is just an idiot.