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This article was first published under the title, “The Other Side of the Die.” It depicts what “understanding” means to me. We often focus only on how we see something, and we seek out new and more powerful ways to convince others that our point of view is the one and only correct one. When we realize that we are seeing only “one side of the dice,” it opens the door for us to see and understand how things look from someone else’s perspective. At our house now, we often remind each other, that “it’s just another side of the dice.”
The Other Side of the Die
That’s right. “die”. . .singular of dice. We can say dice for singular or plural, kind of like deer and deer, but to get your attention, I decided to title this article, “The Other Side of the Die.” While I am randomly discussing weird words, I have a question for you. When you are alone in the kitchen, do you reach for the thyme and quietly say “thime” or do you really, even in the privacy of your own home, actually say “time.” I was just wondering because it is very difficult for me to say “time” for “thyme” and makes no sense at all and that is the whole point of “The Other Side of the Die.” Let me explain. When I am looking at one side of a die, let’s say I see a one; someone across from me will be seeing a six (as in one says “time” and another says “thime.”) Two other friends are going to see the two and the five. Every one of us sees things from our very own point of view, based on our personality, our experiences, and our beliefs.
When we can accept this, it opens up a whole new interesting world. We can look at ones, twos, threes, fours, fives, and sixes and have an understanding of how someone else might view the world. There are those who truly enjoy seeing weird speckle-faced aliens boarding spaceships and trying to take over the minds of the crew and condemn them to spinning endlessly in space never to return home again. The same person might view a fun, light-hearted detective show like Monk as uninteresting, if not annoying. Once you realize that it’s just the other side of the die, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t make one good and one bad, or one right and one wrong. It makes life interesting.
In another scenario, we may have someone who loves Christian rock music while another prefers contemporary music. There are even those who prefer science fiction over historical Christian fiction. Tamera Alexander, you didn’t hear it from me. These differences can be an open door for conversation and greater understanding. It can be fascinating to find out what is going on in someone’s else’s world. You might also find it intriguing to find out how other people view politics and religion, if you can learn to view it from “the other side of the dice.” We can learn not to react or overreact when someone is blatantly opposed to our way of thinking. Consider it the same as you would a different preference for chocolate over vanilla ice-cream or a preference for cheese pizza over supreme. Why anyone would prefer vanilla over chocolate, I have no idea, but I am willing to open the door of understanding to find out.
Exploring different viewpoints is a healthy alternative to thinking that you and only you are right in all things. Learning to respect the differences in others is like giving vivid colors to an otherwise drab one-sided way of looking at life. Differences are simply a springboard for digging deeper, for asking questions and finding out more about those you love and those you meet.
There are many sides to every strongly held belief, yet, let us not be mistaken in the fact that there is Absolute Truth. Just as there are laws that govern the universe like the law of gravity, inertia, and the law of lift, there is also Absolute Truth. . .absolute right and wrong. It is important to have a firm foundation on which to stand as we develop our way of looking at the universe. Thank God that He is unchangeable. His laws are right and true and His plan of salvation through His Son is sure! Standing on our firm foundation, we are free to accept and understand others even when their views are diametrically opposed to our own.
Whether it be differences in our entertainment preferences, our music, our political views or our understanding of Scripture, we can open doors of communication by asking questions, being respectful, calm, and kind and simply having fun by looking at something in a new way. Turn the die around, look at each side. Know that each and every person is important to our Creator, Look more deeply at what makes them who they are. “Time or thime,” it really doesn’t matter. It’s all in how you throw the dice.