“If you don’t know me by now, you will never, never, never know me.” A few of you might remember this lyric from the 1970s R&B group Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes (featuring Teddy Pendergrass). Simply Red and Seal also covered this great tune.
The truth is that most of us really never, never, never know one another. Even our closest relationships continue to reveal new aspects, dimensions and facets.
So, how can we ever expect to know someone we just met or have only known for a short period of time? Never mind people whom we think we know that we’ve never met—celebrities, those of another faith, race or socio-economic strata, or the 99.99% of the rest of the world that is not like us.
Which leads me to the Six Ways, an Eastern concept that asks us to look at one another not as one dimensional, but in six ways. The front, back, left, right, top and bottom.
Look at someone from the front, and you see what they want you to see: how they dress, the look on their face, their public persona. Look at them only from the back—symbolizing their past—and you will see who they were and may no longer be. From the bottom, you may see a dimension that reveals flaws, and the top may show them at their best. Left and right reveal aspects that may be influenced by health issues, personal circumstance, or a recent joy or hardship.
Judge not, lest we be judged. We would all like a little grace and to be cut some slack, wouldn’t we? To be looked at for more than the one thing that others may see in the moment.
I challenge myself to consider the Six Ways when I’m frustrated or feeling like someone just isn’t cooperating, not seeing things my way or is just flat out being difficult.
The next difficult person or situation that you encounter, take six seconds and see if you can look at it Six Ways. Think how nice it would be to have someone understand you the next time you’re something less than your best.