I was hanging out on the bus the other day with my buddy Warren Barfield. We were having a good old time, talking about everything from movies to music to how in the world do you maintain a Facebook page. A lot of times when musicians hang out, we talk about career stuff. Maybe it’s a musician thing – we have this innate uncertainty about the future. What if people decide to quit buying our records or coming to our shows? Or maybe it’s a human thing – maybe we’re all a little worried about the future.
As the conversation got more specific, one thing absolutely blew my mind. There was this total clarity that Warren and I had when talking about the other person. “Dude you should totally do this! It’s so obvious. Can’t you see it?” But each of us, when looking at our own situation, couldn’t really see it.
That’s the funniest thing about it. When you’re talking about somebody else, it’s so easy to see what they should do. When you’re talking about yourself? Not so much.
It seems that we humans have a built in blind spot, and I think God intended it to be that way. We can’t really see our lives with the objectivity that we need to make good decisions. We have to rely on other people to help up out. Maybe, just maybe, we need each other.
It seems that we’re wired for community. Might as well embrace it.
The easy, obvious way to go about this would be the bull in a china shop approach. Since other people have this built in blind spot, let me help them. I’ll just tell them what they ought to do. This is called meddling, and I don’t think I would recommend it.
But there’s another way to approach it that involves a lot of humility and a lot of what Brene Brown calls “leaning in.” It requires opening up to other people and letting them know that you don’t have it all figured out.
I’ve started asking this simple question lately: “What would you do?” I just come out and ask people what they would do if they were in my situation. It’s a little bit unsettling because it’s so out of the ordinary. Try it sometime. At the very least, it makes for interesting conversation.
What would you do?