I Don’t Understand!

I spotted this list on a customer’s wall.

That’s a lot of missing stuff.

I’m only showing the bottom of the list because there are names attached to some of the solved items higher up.

It sounds like most of the missing items were misunderstandings.

Understanding might be the one thing most missing in relationships.

This group of co-workers often misunderstood where an item should be or what items they could take for their own use. This list brought that out into the open and avoided some hard feelings.

I am reminded of a time when I misunderstood my son.

Something was missing and all evidence pointed to him. He refused to admit it so I took a treasured item of his until he would confess.

I never found the missing item but I found my senses when he still maintained his innocence. You see, he is on the autism spectrum and finds it very difficult to lie.

He refused to confess because he was innocent! I was the one in the wrong and had to apologize and, of course, return his treasured item.

Now it’s easier for me to understand him but he still has a hard time understanding others. Autism often makes it difficult to recognize the subtleties of expression and inflection.

He has learned to recognize my sarcasm but still has a hard time reading faces.

And people have a hard time reading him. He’ll refuse to shake hands, not because he dislikes someone but because of a fear of germs and a lack of understanding of the importance of social norms.

Will we ever get to a place of everyone understanding one another perfectly?

Of course not!

What a boring world that would be.

But we can recognize that we don’t understand each other perfectly and not get so uptight at perceived anger, insults, and injustices.

I say we keep exploring the mysteries of human communication as we seek to understand each other.

And be quick to apologize and forgive.

Never is that more important than election season.

Many will read this on Election Day.

We each have our heart-felt political beliefs and tend to not understand how anyone can think differently and still be a good person.

I have news for you – they can.

They just think differently than us so we tend to misunderstand them.

And speaking of misunderstanding,

the first thing that popped into my mind when I read #24 on that list was

“to Candy Mountain”.

If you don’t get that reference you are truly blessed. If you must know, search for Charlie the Unicorn on YouTube (and don’t blame me).