Watching this amazing clip 333 Nina Salerosa by Joe Romeiro created lots of reflection for us. Who would ever put themselves in this position, of swimming with, feeding and touching sharks? Not us! So we started to think why we felt so adverse to approaching something/someone whom we sense as dangerous, perhaps so much so as to affect our survival.
What came to mind for us was the notion of assumptions. How do assumptions come into play in a way that limit us from experiences, connections, building relationships with others? What could we do to test our assumptions (other than swim with sharks) so we could venture into ‘uncharted waters’ and learn, creating new relationships that help us thrive?
We all have assumptions about everything and these can prevent us from seeing, hearing and really understanding others. How can we become more aware of our assumptions and begin to test them?
Looking at the clip above, we could ask ourselves what are our reasons for thinking sharks are dangerous, a being to avoid at all costs? Well, lots of shark attacks come to mind, on surf boards, swimming, etc. We all have images in our heads of shark attacks, created through photos, documentaries and movies. These seem very real and in many cases they are. How else could we look at a shark and treat it with respect instead of fear, not wanting to swim with it and still recognizing it as a worthy being?
Looking at people, how often do we look at someone and because of something, we assume we would not like to get to know them and thus there is no need to really see, hear and understand them? We don’t need to or want to be curious about what makes them who they are. What assumptions could we be making? How could these assumptions interfere with us developing a relationship that has value for us and for the other person?
This video is a beautiful and powerful demonstration that by testing our assumptions we can build relationships that we would normally assume to be impossible. That, along with the learning and experience of a new relationship, can be life changing.
Looking at your relationships with all types of beings, what assumptions could you be making that interfere with your ability to build that relationship and really see, hear and understand them?