Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

This is Part of the Ongoing Series 'Changing Mindset'


Understanding others is probably one of the most important things on can achieve - i use the word achieve for the reason it is not something you do but rather something you have to work for.

Once you understand something or someone, once you know what someone strives for, fears, wants, needs, you can help them - in short, it is the basis for all effective communication.

Just to give you one example, i always knew understanding was important. but there is a big difference between understanding and knowing something. When i really understood, when it hit me, i was at the airport in bangkok, i had just got off my plane and was looking for a cab to take me to my hotel.

the only driver in sight was doing a strange gesture - arm stretched in front of them, palms facing down and waving frantically with their hands. as a westerner, or more precisely a german, i took this gesture as 'go away', subsequently i thought 'how rude, i guess i will not take his cab.'

it took me a minute to find out every driver did that... when i saw other passengers get on the cabs, it took me another 2 seconds to suddenly feel very stupid, embarassed and arrogant - but i understood now: their gesture meant the same as the one we would perform with our palms facing up, meaning: 'come hither, take my cab, friend'. I took a ride with the next smiling driver i found.

Understanding those little things is of vital importance in our globalized world.

...unfortunately, you can not really learn this from reading lonely planet ;-) you need to experience it for yourself.

Please share, what are moments in your life that really made you understand?

Views: 16

Comment by Massive Attack on March 23, 2010 at 1:31pm
One of the moments that made me understand was going to a Hispanic co-workers house. Their family party was family & friends & me + my ex. I felt somewhat out of place as the only two non-Hispanic people there. We were almost immediately welcomed very warmly, handed a plate of amazingly delicious food, offered a beer, ushered into a seat & introduced all around. though I couldn't communicate well with some, I was so glad we had come.

This is true kindness, welcoming someone you don't even know & ensuring they are comfortable. I feel everyone who has joined evoke is this kind of person, & it makes me optomistic & happy...
Comment by Felix Albus on March 23, 2010 at 2:18pm
I went to Poland once on student exchange program. I was overwhelmed by their mindsets and attitude. They were happy and living and working on their individual dreams. In short - Although everyone had less, compared to Germany, they were happier. A lot! This helped me understand most of my fellow citizens, the worries they have and pressures they face. All from insider their own heads ! :D:D
Comment by Hayden Darrell Linder on March 26, 2010 at 9:11pm
I think it was the first epiphany I ever had. I was about 7 years old and my grandfather, who frightened me and my siblings all of our lives, asked if I wanted to go check his property with him. My grandfather was frightening because he was a mean looking man and never talked. I don't know why I said yes but I did. We rode all day checking cattle here and a few oil wells he had and after a while he stopped and got us drinks at a small store. Somewhere during that day I realized he wasn't a mean man, it was just how he carried himself.

He still never talked much after that but I found I could talk to him and just because all he did was nod, it didn't mean he wasn't listening. I always looked forward to seeing him after that.


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