Thursday, April 2, 2009

Something of Importance to Remember

We all are blind to our own blindspots - ALL of us.

7 comments:

Clean Cut said...

I would love to get you to expound on this thought. I completely agree with you, as more of my personal blind spots have been made more clear recently. What sparked this thought? What have you learned about your personal blind spots? Please share more...

adam said...

Ever heard of the Johari Window? We use it a lot in our program to facilitate personal growth and taking feedback from others. Basically, there are 4 areas in the window, but the idea is to make the "known to self" area bigger, and the "not known to self" area smaller. While we can never get rid of ALL our blindspots, as we are always entering new situations, we can do a lot to minimize them.

Jen said...

As I have been processing this statement as well as the comments in relation to it, I have wondered if we are ever able to reach a point of being able to see "things as they really are" in relation to ourselves. Do we always have to be somewhat unaware (i.e. blind spots) or is it possible to reach a state of full awareness? Is the Holy Ghost able to show us our weaknesses to the extent that we know them all or is that not possible in our mortal and fallen state?

I had an experience recently where I bore my testimony and felt that I didn't express my thoughts and feelings very well. After the meeting I had several people approach me and tell me they feel I have a gift for expressing myself....HUH?? I honestly felt that couldn't be farther from the truth. I believe it had more to do with the Spirit speaking something to them they needed to hear and much less to do with me personally. I wonder if there are times where the Spirit works through others and we may perceive something about them that isn't necessarily true, but the Spirit touches us in a way that we think it has more to do with the person than is really does. Does that make sense? Any thoughts about that?

Papa D said...

CC, I was reading a thread on Mormon Matters (some back and forth between two people there), and this just popped into my head. I haven't had a chance to develop it further, even though I've thought a bit about it tonight driving to and from my meetings at the stake center, but I immediately had the thought that I should do something out of the normal for my blog and post it today, even though I already had a link up for the day. I don't why. I hope it was inspiration for someone.

adam, I have not heard of the Johari Window, but I like the summary you gave. I think the thought has been the result of my intense focus over the last 15 months to improve myself step by step, characteristic by characteristic - and my favorite scripture about seeing through my glass, darkly.

Jen, that is a fascinating experience with your testimony, as I have had similar experiences listening to what people learned from talks in church. Sometimes it seems like multiple people were listening to completely different talks - and I believe it is the Holy Ghost tailoring a personal message just for each individual.

As to whether we can become fully self-aware in this life, I'm not sure. I think the veil never will be rent completely in mortality, so my gut response is, "No, we can't reach that state in this life" - but I'm not aware enough of everything to know for sure. *grin*

I do think coming to know ourselves better is a big part of "making our weak things become strong" - but my "motivation" for recording the original thought was focused more on avoiding judgment and realizing that even when we are sure we understand someone or something perfectly there is some way to look at or consider it that has never crossed our minds.

Jen said...

Papa D-
"the original thought was focused more on avoiding judgment and realizing that even when we are sure we understand someone or something perfectly there is some way to look at or consider it that has never crossed our mind."

I have wondered if the Lord "sets us up" or intentionally has created blind spots to give us opportunity to choose whether we will judge someone or not. I have learned a lot about not judging others through my own experience of being judged falsely. I have come to realize that something can look a certain way and not be that way at all. I wish I could remember the name of this book, but I can't find it. It is a story about a man who is well liked in his community. One day as he is walking past the market he grabs an apple from the fruit stand in front and proceeds to walk away while eating the apple. A boy noticed him do this without seeing him pay for the apple and began to tell others that he was a thief. His reputation becomes tarnished. Come to find out, he was paying the market owner at the beginning of the week for a week's worth of apples so he could grab one on his way to work without having to go inside and wait in line. Unfortunately,his reputation was damaged permanently because of the judgments of others.

I think MOST of the time, we just don't know what is really going on with others. Even when we live with someone we don't always know like we think we might. The command to not judge is one I think we take too lightly. The damage that can be done by judging others can be significant, so to me it is always best to give others the benefit of the doubt.

Of course there will be exceptions when we feel prompted by the Spirit to pay attention and make a judgment call. I remember one time when I ran into a youth leader in our ward. I felt a distinct feeling about something and later found out the reason for it. I believe if we are willing to give others the benefit of the doubt that there will be times when the Lord may help us to discern things we need to. Not always, but it is a possibility.

Papa D said...

Jen, thanks for that additional insight. I think it is profound.

SilverRain said...

As Jen pointed out, there is the gift of discernment. Like with all gifts of the Spirit, discernment can be granted as an inherent gift, as a temporary insight, or as a stewardship-based gift.

Otherwise, I believe that the Spirit can show us all our weaknesses in this life, but if we begin to believe we know all our weaknesses, we fall prey to pride. The purpose of being shown our weaknesses—our blind spots, if you will—is not to eliminate them, it is to be humble. (Ether 12:27)