I just watched the movie, Harvey, with James Stewart again tonight. Its about a man who is kind and lovely and gracious and he is generous and thoughtful and polite to all of those whom he meets.
His family think he is insane since he lives in a reality separate from theirs so they try to get him committed to a mental hospital because they are embarrassed by him. As the movie unfolds the audience observes a clash of realities. Originally, it appears that there are two separate realities but as the story unfolds there are many characters with their own notions of what is reality and the capital “t” Truth gets muddled. It is a gorgeous film if you are in the mood for a patient, loving, intelligent story written by Mary Chase combined with the stellar performance of Jimmy Stewart; I encourage you to see it.
As a human race, we all hold our own idea of what is reality, on many things we all agree, collectively, and on others we do not. We need only look at the great clashes of ideologies that exist in the world. this is evident in the world on both a macro and a micro level. This movie reminds me that it is the love and patience and kindness that we offer to each other that is most important. Is it really all that important for us all to agree on one simple truth or can we simply have our own truth that exists in our own hearts and minds and then open those hearts and minds to each other and accept our differences? Such a simple idea and yet so difficult to carry out or hold in our hearts when we wish to have control or when we get confused about what it is to feel connected/intimate… and yet we can connect through our differences just as we can through our similarities; as long as we offer the kindness and graciousness to each other that we all deserve we can achieve peace in our life. Do you value peace, graciousness, politeness, kindness?
Intimacy is not based in similarity. Into me see. We can connect with each other and see into each other even though we have differences, even though we hold different things to be true, ie, we have different beliefs and ideas. I propose that the next time you are frustrated by another or feel the need to tell them the real truth, as you see it, stop for a moment and really listen and accept the other person, see them as a being deserving of total patience and kindness and graciousness and respect. What do you notice? What opens up for you?
I encourage you, the next time you are frustrated or angered with another, see what you can create by becoming kindness, patience, love and politeness in the situation. What do you notice?
When you watch the movie you may notice what happens when we force our truth on another. You also may have noticed something similar in your own life with a friend, family member, co-worker, or spouse this week.