We see them as they jaunt past with their noses raised oblivious to all surroundings. They hear their news from a single reporter, and sermons from a single preacher; polluting truth with false spin. On occasion they will tilt their noses down to you or another critiquing on how what they see differs from them, so therefore must be wrong.
On occasion, I think of what the view must look like from a high horse, and I begin to lament for those individuals.
Perception can deceive us all, but for a few it consumes their lives. They are polarized from the things they see and hear, rather than grounded in reality. To be at the mercy of one’s own perception is nothing to be envious of, my friends.
Alternate “realities” have been formed due to traditions, societal norms, and yes… culture.
This day and age, we deal with “realities” varying from the revolutionary Baby Boomers to the system shaker Millennials, most of which differ substantially on every issue. Both generations are guilty of producing their share of high horse riders, I might add.
For clarification purposes, someone that is on a high horse holds a view of themselves in that their way of thinking and living is standard and true, while others that deviate from their standard are lesser, or even flat out wrong. They only acknowledge other people on horses of the same size, which affirms their “reality” and feeds into the cyclical problem.
Here is reality. We are all on a horse, some of us on donkeys, and there will always be a higher horse and a lower horse to yours.
You might be thinking that the size of your horse represents your status in society, money in your IRA, or the square footage of your home; but the size of your horse is actually determined by the size of your ego. To avoid ever becoming the encumbrance of a person on a high horse, a good ego-check is always healthy.
Unsure if this is you? Here’s a quick checklist:
– If you think lesser of people because they’re voting for a different presidential candidate than you, you’re on a high horse
– If you think lesser of people because they wear a hijab, you’re on a high horse
– If you think lesser of people below you in your work place, you’re on a high horse
– If you think lesser of me because I am gay, you’re on a high horse
– If you think lesser of people, you’re on a high horse
My thoughts to you, and myself, for I am included in this category; be hesitant in judging anything you don’t understand completely. If you feel up to it, approach the issue with an open-mind and study the opposing point(s) of view. Seeing things from a different perspective does not mean abandoning your beliefs, rather broadening your horizons to understand other walks of life and even your own belief better. Regardless, nothing gives you an excuse to judge from a high horse.
I have peace and understanding in my life because I applied this approach in most areas: whether religion, politics, or my sexuality.
Secondly, be mindful of your perception. Your eyes can deceive you; remember the controversy that arose over whether the dress was blue or gold? At the end of the day it was hideous, but it showed an interesting fact: we see things differently.
But was the dress really gold or blue, who was right? Both were equally right and wrong, because the hue of the dress was dependent on the light being reflected on it. In other words, in most cases it IS possible to have two rights. In politics, religion, and lifestyle. Just because you are right, doesn’t mean that I am wrong.
You will stand by the side that most aligns with the way that you see things, and vice versa. This does not in turn discredit the other party; they simply perceive it differently in accordance with how it aligns with them.
I know many of you are cringing by this point, but bear with me! You’ll see where I am going.
First off, try your best to disregard the opinions of others on a high horse. Your identity is not found in others’ definition of you. Always remember, sticks and stones may break my bones, but…? Sometime words do hurt, and I struggle with how to respond most times. I try avoiding the verbal combat with those on a high horse for two reasons:
1. Things I say rarely sink into the thick skulls of those individuals.
2. I never walk away from those conversations feeling good. So why waste my time?
“When they go low, you go high”. –Michelle Obama
So walk away from those individuals and their horses with your head held high knowing they are only judging you because they simply just don’t understand, and go on loving them.
I am certainly tired of all this bickering back and forth. Election season definitely highlights it, but I feel that we spend a heavy majority of our lives working against each other and tearing others down, rather than being unified in a common purpose and constantly trying to build others up.
Stop judging. Regardless if you disagree with the person, or they violate your moral principals. There is only one judge, and it isn’t you. Take that same energy and use it to build others up, rather than tearing them down. It starts with one. One word, one action, from one person to another; but then maybe you will start to see the change you want to see.
Be the change that you want to see in the world, and never forget to check the size of your horse.
Originally published at medium.com