One Person's Treasure, Another's Nightmare... But Who Cares?
On the subway there's a woman with an 8-year-old child (most likely). It's late afternoon. This child is crying her lungs out. Meanwhile, a few feet away, there's another mother with an obviously exhausted baby in a carriage. Now you have two mothers helplessly trying to quieten their children.
Then, there are two types of passengers on the train car- the empathetic ones and the ones with frustrated, sneering, frowning faces. Nobody vocalizes how they feel and why, but the facial expressions say it all. I see some reach for the volume-up buttons on their devices, possibly endeavoring to block the sound out. One passenger sitting next to the chaos cannot take it anymore. She springs out of her seat and deliberately stomps her way to a seat farther away, sighing out loud as she sits down. The two mothers pick up on all this exasperation around them, obviously due to their inconsolable children. A few passengers look empathetic, but they are not sure how to help. It's a world where offering unsolicited help could backfire on a stranger, so it's better to remain quietly supportive.
One bold passenger takes the trouble to talk to the mother with the inconsolable 8-year-old. "Is she sick? Is she in pain?" to which the helpless mother responds, "we are just here visiting and she misses her friends back in China a lot!" Now it makes sense that an 8-year-old is feeling and acting the way she is. Does it change how other inconvenienced folks feel about her? Maybe, maybe not. However, now there is a better understanding of the situation, thanks to the bold passenger.
Most of us can only mentally tolerate what is valuable to them, by nature. If something is not aligned with what we deem valuable, we tend to shut it out, naturally. Very few people dare explore things that they detest or feel uncomfortable with.
Surprisingly, though, the very thing one person detests might be the one and ultimate source of joy and happiness for another. Parenthood and children are a good example of how different people view things or issues. To some children are kind of a nightmare and such people will not tolerate any inconveniences that come with them, even worse, via strangers. These people feel that they should not be 'cleaning up after a party they did not throw'. On the other hand, parents may never understand why someone cannot stand them nor their children especially when children's behavior gets out of hand for whatever reason. There's this expectation from parents that everyone should understand and everyone who does not understand is a selfish, insensitive individual.
Regardless of what business level one is at, understanding that not everybody shares their opinions and values is a great asset in itself. It necessitates better research and improved strategy. It limits overtly self-serving decision-making with its associated pitfalls. It doesn't mean that what one has to offer is not valuable. It just means that, to some people, it's irrelevant. These 'other people' could be close family, relatives or friends something that makes the situation more complicated. Accepting it, focusing on what works for the business and for the customers who value what's offered, will relieve the business owner(s) of all the unnecessary stress. Do parents and non-parents ever work together? Yes; of course they do. They just don't bring kids into the mix. They can find other things that they can collaborate on with those people who do not share certain specific values as theirs. It's worth exploring alternative intersections. Such resources not only grow a business or a relationship, but also give it sustainable irreversible existence!