“Do you have anti-freeze?” I asked, as I walked into the auto parts store ten minutes after closing. The door was still unlocked, and they graciously let me come into the shop, yet they looked blankly at me.
“Anti-freeze?” I asked again.
Puzzled looks around the room.
“Ahh…Coolant! I need coolant. My car is overheating,” I said, finally realizing people living in this desert have never had a need for anti-freeze.
The context in which you live shapes the way you understand things.
This can be true of the way we understand people too. I am learning to listen and ask questions. I don’t want to misunderstand what people do and say because I have not paid attention to how my understanding is different. My experiences have shaped my understanding in certain ways that others may never have experienced.
Coolant, not anti-freeze.
Petrol, not gasoline.
Trousers, not pants (means undies).
Operating theater, not operating room.
Use your right hand only to eat or pass something on to someone else. The left hand is considered unclean.
Context and culture shape the meaning of actions and words.
I have a lot to learn.