April 14, 2023
when you don’t see the world in the same way
The only argument of consequence my partner and I have regularly is whether it’s green or whether it’s blue.
A t-shirt, a blossom in shade, the colour of the sky, the new duvet cover we can’t decide on… We see the opposite of the other so often, it’s become a bit of a joke between us.
Many conflicts, whether at home or in the workplace, begin when we refuse to interrogate perceptions that have calcified from so much seeing in one way: “This is the way it’s always been done.” “This is how you build a great business.” “This is the path to happiness.” “This, the path to success.”
But I’ve always wondered, what does blue look like in your head to call it green?
Not because I want to argue with you, but because I want to understand how you see the world.
I think about the many studies out there on how diversity is a key driver for innovation. On how conflict is an inevitable and healthy function of authentic community. On how much of the ways we each know about how to be good, do right, make money come from the limited palette of our upbringing and the systemic structures that mixed us.
It is the friction of difference, the places where we see things differently but are willing to imagine life in collaboration where the real magic begins.
What would it be like to experience a problem from another vantage point? What if everyone in the room has some kind of achromatopsia? What if this conflict is not about being right but about identifying the relevant hues?
It can’t be green, you say. But my blue vision rubs against it.
Blue. Green. Green. Blue. The fact that it’s neither doesn’t seem to matter.
But the seeing from the other side can bring us into a new vision. An alignment in the grey middle. A beautiful teal.
Or a new creation that’s not about colour at all, but about the texture and motion of ocean waves.