When someone says “earth” (in the sense of the soil) to you, what color do you think of? I tend to think of a rich brown.
As I was walking along the cliffs of the Isle of Wight in the UK, this sight reminds me that earth (soil, clay, rock, etc.) can be a wide rainbow of colors. In this image alone, there’s orange, white, brown, red, and grey. (Am I missing any colors?)
When someone asks me what something means, there’s a first thought (it’s brown). There is great value in listening to that and respecting it. But I remind myself that there is also great value in sitting with the initial reaction. I don’t want to discard my initial impulse, but I do want to sit with it for a moment and allow the variations to enter for consideration (how many other colors are there?). From here, I can make a more thoughtful and, often, respectful decision for whatever task is at hand.