Use your defects to your advantage

Sometimes a defect can be an impediment, a hurdle, a hard thing to live with.
 
Other times a defect can help us be creative and use it to our advantage. Let me share a personal experience.
 
Early in my life I faced issues with my right ear, to the point that I’m almost deaf on that side. I didn’t know until I got tested around 11, and as a result of that the doctors tried to compensate for the lack of internal tissue in my inner ear to enlarge my bones so I could have a “normal” hearing. The medical care was awesome, and I was able to improve my hearing a bit, but to this moment I still must manage such imbalance in different ways.
 
I tell my friends that their secrets are safe with me, if they talk to my right ear, which is quite the case. 😅😅
 
This condition made my school days challenging, and I had to ask several times to the teachers for additional repetition of the topic, because I missed some details sometimes due to the noise around me. But then this became an advantage, because by having the teachers repeat things I was reinforcing, having an extra “class”. At first, I did not think of this that way, and of course it was not done intentionally, but later in college that became a powerful tool when needed to juggle multiple activities. Let me explain.
 
My parents’ financial situation was tight, and the expenses of a professional career were too much for them. Although I attended public schools, the everyday expenses and books and other materials were taking a toll on my folks, so I quickly decided that I needed to work in order to help myself and them. This job was in a daily newspaper, which was great because it was after school and it was a full-time job. The downsize was that I was home very late, at 1 or 2 AM, and classes started at 7 AM, with almost 1-hour ride on the bus.
 
Also, during those days I decided to pursue student leadership, which led me to become the president of the Computer Systems Engineering student counsel. This helped me tremendously to get out of the shell where I was before and I was able to create great connections in and out of the school.
 
So… how much time was left for studying? You can imagine. 😕
 
So, I resorted to the tactic I had created as a result of my early struggle. I started asking the teacher to repeat the process to solve the problems, or the definitions of any term or topic, so I could reinforce it right there in the classroom. Sometimes the subject was so easy, it was ridiculous, but I knew that I would have no time to go over it by myself.
 
Sounds like cheating? I will let you be the judge of that.
 
Have you use any defect to your advantage?

 

 

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It’s not you… it’s me

How we view the world will always predispose us to adopt points of view that are unique, unmatched and easy to confront when our reality is threatened. When our paradigms are challenged, our reaction can be unpredictable. There is nothing more comfortable than our comfort zone, and if that’s in danger, we will jump.

But… in the current state of our civilization, such mindset can be worth only a few moments in memory, and then it could turn into a quick transition to irrelevance. Even though being intolerant can cause annoyance, the person that irradiates this character is doomed to quickly become ostracized and ignored.

Opposite mindsets have historically led to chaos in many forms, and the ultimate impact is at a world wide level. Sometimes the point of view of a single individual dragged others to a situation that could be prevented easily without escalation.

The existing chaos in our world is the result of our own turmoil. There are problems where we want to see problems, and there are no problems where we want to ignore them.

Selective chaos… chaos created by me… by you… and you… and you.

Wait a minute… how many fingers are pointing back at me?

The truth is, if you and I stop defending our paradigms so passionately, and focus on the context of them, we would have a great opportunity to understand each other better, and would be able to confront them without prejudice and with an open mind.

Understanding the motif behind a paradigm allows for a holistic view of the paradigm’s owner. And that helps the counterpart to think before reacting to it.

If we stop seeing only problems, and instead learn to appreciate each other’s paradigms, that will lead to a compassionate way of thinking and to a better interaction among our peers, family members, loved ones, enemies and strangers… because that’s what the world needs… compassion.

Compassion requires knowledge. When we pursue knowledge, the road can be interestingly challenging, but the journey is filled with insights that make it valuable and totally worth it.

Do you care to share your paradigms? I’m open to share mine.

Let’s keep learning!