By Dean Lusk
I like to fancy myself as having fairly good instincts when it comes to people. As far as I know, I'm capable of observing what really makes people tick
most of the time. Now, I don't have any idea what all the best psychologists say about the birth order of kids, parents, role models, etc. I only know what I've experienced in those areas, and while I'm mostly certain my observations don't apply across the board, I feel confident that I'm not completely off-base with my self-taught psychology.
Throughout my childhood I had an underlying assumption that all adult males/dads were pretty much like my dad. Now, I didn't think every dad was a hardcore Christian, but I did think that, for the most part, dads were practical, sensible, intelligent, self-controlled, full of integrity, wore neatly-pressed button-up shirts, and had their heads screwed on correctly. (Side note: I also thought that in order to sing well or be a good musician a person had to be one of the "beautiful people." Even back then the media culture had taken hold.)
I don't recall how old I was when it crept up on me like ice on my nose hairs on a cold winter day that Gene Simmons
(bassist for iconic band KISS
) wasn't all that much younger than my dad
Gene Simmons opened my eyes, because from all that I knew about him (from limited info, having grown up in a household that didn't allow such things as KISS music or paraphernalia) I couldn't call him practical, self-controlled, or a wearer of neatly-pressed button-up shirts.
All people really are NOT cut from the same mold. I finally got it. Oh, I'd already known that in theory, but that epiphany was where the whole concept became quite pronounced for me. It was the pivotal point at which I realized diversity is usually a good thing, because the world would be in very serious trouble if everyone were like me (or like Gene Simmons, for that matter).
I can say that and it might sound wonderfully self-effacing and humble, but frankly, my attitude doesn't bear it out. In most situations I tend to believe that whatever my personal viewpoint is, it is the right position to take. I'll bet that you do this, too. Further, I inherently seem to think that everyone who doesn't agree with me is at least partially wrong, and sometimes completely wrong. I'm not arrogant, I promise; I'm just wired to see things from my own point of view.
How do you personally go about looking at the bigger picture; understanding that you truly may not have the best answer in a given situation and you really might want to rely on the strengths of other people? Or am I just a narcissist and nobody else has this problem?