Like fish, we tend to take our surroundings for granted when we swim in it every day. This is just how life is. And it often takes someone outside of ourselves to point out the very water we swim in.
Certainly, this is true of our actual environment. For instance, we don’t generally hear the accents in our own speech patterns but can quickly pick them out when talking with others.
We take for granted how our words and phrases sound until we hear the differences. It’s simply the water we swim in and it takes someone else to draw our attention to what we assume is just the way everyone else talks.
And this is true for how we approach life and engage with others as well.
For example, some people focus on doing what is practical and right. And the most important thing for them is getting the job done in an efficient and correct manner. Personal opinions and feelings generally don’t factor in much to their decisions and how they approach a project.
And from their perspective, this is just how it’s supposed to be done. It seems foreign and strange to consider doing it any other way.
And to be sure, their approach is not wrong per se. In fact, it can have many strengths.
But it also has costly limitations that can take them out when they’re not aware of the water they’re swimming in. And typically, it takes someone else to point out what they’ve always assumed and taken for granted.
In the end, sometimes the water around us is toxic and we need to find a new pond. But often it’s helpful to simply be aware.
This allows us greater freedom to consider other perspectives and to learn from the wisdom they have to offer.
Let others help you become aware of the water you swim in. This freedom increases your ability to bring more life and goodness into the world.