It can be very easy to judge people against your own experiences. It is even easier to judge yourself against others’. This more than often comes out negatively, especially when it comes to our own self esteem. There can be a part of us which feels like we should know everything. One of the hardest things to realise, often because we just don’t think about it, is that we all have different experiences, know different things.
I was reminded of this recently with a story from my days in theatre administration. We were looking at how we could entice people into the theatre and make it a more ‘everyday’ experience. We talked about the programming, the signage, accessible performances, etc. Then someone said, “and we need to make it easier for someone to come in and buy a ticket”.
I was surprised. We had phone lines, a box office visible from the street, induction loops, big print/Braille information,…
“No”, my colleague explained, “easier as in less frightening to buy a ticket for anyone who has never been to the theatre before.”
I still didn’t get his point and said so. I mean as a theatregoer, I knew you just walked in and asked for the ticket you wanted.
My colleague took a £10 note out of his pocket and gave it to me.
“Go round the corner to the bookies and place a bet”.
Ah ha - the sound of a penny dropping! Having never placed a bet, I had no idea where to start, didn’t know the jargon, what was expected of me. I could just see me walking into the strange place and being totally humiliated.
So if something is a breeze to someone else, but is a total mystery to you, cut yourself some slack. It’s a great opportunity to learn something new. Then you can pass on some of the things you know which they don’t.
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