Apart from God, there is no objective reality. Each person has his/her own reality that is not shared by anyone else, at least not completely. “Reality” may be shared in part by a family, community, or culture. Otherwise, there are as many realities as there are individuals. In the words of Gustave Flaubert “There is no truth. There is only perception.”
Alfred Adler stated: “More important than innate disposition, objective experience, and environment is the subjective evaluation of these. Furthermore, this evaluation stands in a certain, often strange, relation to reality.”
A bit confusing? Let me put it this way. Assumptions and presumptions supersede one’s “reality”. We do not see things as others see things, but through our personal experience, prejudice, and woundedness. Selfishness and pride also obscure our ability to be truly objective.
Implications? Number one: Before we judge, it would be wise to see to the other’s reality to the best our ability; to walk in their shoes, to look beyond our own reality and conclusions. Number two: develop a community. We are meant to be connected. Number three: Love. Practice the second greatest commandment.
As we read in Matthew 22: 35-40: “And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?’ And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets’.”
The best way to “get” another’s reality: Walk in his/her shoes, develop community with him/her, and love. Quite the powerful triad.