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Earlier this week game one of the NBA finals gave us one of the most entertaining sporting events of the last decade. The game had everything! It had an all time great performance from Lebron James, late game heroics from both teams, big shots, taunting, fighting, ejections, and of course…

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This game gave us all the meme and gif fodder we could ask for. I’m sure you’ve seen this image about a thousand times over the last few days. I laugh every time I see it. I’m actually laughing now as I write this.

However, the most talked about moment from the game, was a call the referees made late in the fourth quarter when the outcome was certainly still in doubt. The refs called a charging foul on Lebron after initially calling a block on Kevin Durant and then reviewing the call in slow motion. The overturned call has been talked about ad nauseam from that moment until now. It was a subjective call, and as with all subjective situations, it really could have gone either way, but try telling that to a Cavaliers fan. Cavs fans see this issue one way and one way only. They were robbed. How can you blame them? Their favorite team eventually lost game one, and maybe if that call goes differently they would’ve won. Ask any Warrior fan on the other hand, and they’ll tell you that the referees made the right call. Neither one is wrong I suppose, but both have limited views.

Sports fans can debate charge or block, and still maintain respect for one another. Two art lovers can walk into a museum and look at the same work of art, and have two drastically different opinions about them. Two friends can watch the same movie and give two totally different reviews. All of this is because we all see the world through different lenses. I know that’s not some deep revelation. We all recognize that we are free to think how we want, and for the most part disagreement doesn’t bother us. We are fine with disagreements over sports, art, or entertainment, but when we put our political or religious lenses on, things can get a little more volatile.

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We seem to lose sight of the fact that everyone doesn’t wear our lenses when issues of racism, guns, sex, or religious theology come up. I know that there is much more at stake for humanity when we start talking about these issues, but  even in heavier matters we’d all do well to remember that there are other lenses to see the world through. In fact, my lens is not the only lens that has a beautiful view of the world. 

We tend to believe that our view of things is right, and any other view isn’t, especially when there are religious writings, data, or facts that support our view. Some of us treat anyone who doesn’t view the world through our religious or political views as less intelligent or uninformed. I’ve seen people try to discredit the personal experience of others in light of the “facts” they read on the internet. There seems to be a tendency in our culture for us to become too enamored with our own lenses. We are comfortable with them. They have served us well in life. They are passed down to many of us like precious family heirlooms, but I wonder what would happen in our world if people started asking to borrow each others lenses?

I have to be honest, I’m extremely guilty of picking up my lens every day and being mad at other people because they don’t see what I see. I do try to offer my lens to people through what I write, and what I share in person, but I know I fall short in taking the time to lay my lens aside and looking through some one else’s sometimes. My connection to my lens doesn’t mean that it’s the only lens of value in the world. It just means I’ve grown attached to it, and the more I keep  my limited views safely tucked away and guarded the less I’ll see all the beauty that is in the world around me.

We all fail at times to pause long enough to see the world through someone else’s lens. Sometimes we fail because of our fear, other times because of our insecurities. Most times we fail because of our pride. Pride won’t allow us to entertain the idea that an opposing view point could possible be valid. One of the ways you can tell if you’ve become too proud of your lens is by gauging how emotional you become when you encounter a view that is not just different than yours, but actually in adversarial contrast to yours. Are you able to pass by a social media post without commenting or judging the writers when you see something you strongly disagree with? Have you entered into a dialog around subjective religious or political material and actually changed your mind? If not, then you may be too in love with your own lens, and it’s probably time you asked a friend or two if you could borrow theirs.

One last REALLY IMPORTANT thing before you wrestle with what you’ve read….

It was totally a block!!! Suck it up Lebron!!! 😂 

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When was the last time you intentionally put effort into seeing the world through some one else’s lens?

Who can you reach out to today to exchange lenses with?

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